Strategic Update

A Strategic Update (Events of 742.M41) – Part 1

Warhammer 40K blog

It is not enough that I achieve victory—my enemy must suffer total defeat. It is not enough that I kill—all my foes must die. It is not enough that I succeed—all others must fail!“—Mogul Kamir, a commander in the Attilan Rough Riders

* * *

We are a month into the new year, so we are a  bit tardy with a longstanding tradition in the Corvus Cluster: When a calendar year ends, we provide a strategic update of the previous year—our attempt to summarize and bring perspective to the narrative story of our campaign.

The year 2022 also was the year 742.M41, and it was a year of planet-wide wars—as well as small but deadly skirmish fights that went largely unnoticed by the countless billions of Imperial citizens that eke out a precarious existence in our small corner of the 40K universe.

If you want an overview of events in the Corvus Cluster, just read what follows. Every major war zone is summarized, and a few smaller but interesting events shared.

Damocles Campaign

Like a cancer, the insidious xenos known as the Tau had spent years quietly subverting Imperial authority on the isolated worlds that ring the Damocles Gulf, a relatively empty region of space that separates the Corvus Cluster from the Tau Empire.

Some Imperial worlds had sworn loyalty to the xenos; others were tainted by the presence of Tau diplomats and merchants. It was a situation that was intolerable.

Thus, just before 742.M41 began, , His Eminence, Cardinal Esau Gurney of Brimlock, called for an Imperial Crusade to rid the galaxy of the xenos. This crusade would not just drive the xenos out of Imperial space—but the Imperium would invade the Tau Empire in a genocidal war to the finish.

Warhammer 40K blogMany thought it would take years to gather the warships and land-based forces necessary for such a massive military operation. But, unknown to many, Imperial authorities already had been preparing for war for a long time.

Thus, less than 100 days after the cardinal’s demand for action, a massive fleet of  Imperial Navy ships—along with a contingent of Space Marines from a dozen different chapters and 19 regiments of the Imperial Guard—left the Belliose System on what became known as the Damocles Gulf Crusade.

The first stop of the Crusade was the Namatos Colony. Making landfall on the rebellious world,  the 5th Company of the Knights of Altair quickly brushed aside the local Planetary Defense Force and, on 6 089 742.M41, the Astartes challenged a sizable Tau military force for control of the planet.

The fighting was fierce and, although the Knights dominated the battle, an inspired aerial drop by Crisis Suits behind the Astartes tank column managed to disrupt the Imperial attack—and the Tau withdrew in good order. (Tau rebuff attack by Imperial Crusade).

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A Tau cruiser taking damage from Imperial gunfire.

By this point, however, the rest of the Crusade Fleet was advancing on its next target. On  6 222 742.M41, the fleet entered the neighboring Timbre Sub-Sector and approached the rebellious Garrus Colony. (Crusade fleet enters Timbre Sub-Sector)

There, it encountered a small Tau naval force that launched an attack on the fleet’s vanguard. Although an inconsequential battle, several Imperial ships were damaged and the xenos withdrew with severe losses. (Crusade fleet routs Tau warships near Garrus Colony)

On Namatos, Captain Martel Vivant, commander of the 5th Company of the Knights of Altair, struggled to bring the fast-retreating Tau to battle. He knew that, if he did not quickly cleanse the planet of its xeno filth, the Crusade Fleet might  complete its conquest of the Timbre Sub-Sector and begin its journey across the Damocles Gulf and into the heart of the Tau Empire.

If the 5th Company didn’t rejoin the fleet soon, it might well be left behind.

Finally, on 6 247 742.M41, Vivant managed to bring the xenos to battle. This time, the Tau’s maneuverabilty—relying on a mix of skimmers, anti-grav tanks, and battles suits dropping from the overhead clouds—played havoc with the Astartes battle plans. The 5th Company was severely mauled. (Knights of Altair suffer new defeat on Namatos)

Adding insult to injury, Vivant soon received an astropathic message from the Crusade Fleet. The Timbre Sub-Sector had fallen.

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Imperial citizens facing judgement for their traitorous conspiracy with the Tau.

You see, after driving away the Tau naval presence in the Garrus System, the fleet advanced on the rebellious colony and demanded its surrender. When that demand went unanswered, elements of the Ultramarines, Black Templars, and Novamarines chapters of the Adeptus Astartes launched themselves at the largest of the world’s cities.

The might of the Astartes was unstoppable. The rebels were defeated within a day. “It was a bloodbath,” noted one naval officer.

Soon after, the fleet moved on to the Kleist Colony, which surrendered without a fight, and other nearby Imperial worlds—terrified that the Crusade would descend on them—hastily reaffirmed their loyalty. A small Imperial force was left to occupy both rebel worlds (and to serve as a reminder of Imperial might to the rest of the Sector), and the Crusade Fleet prepared for the invasion of the Tau Empire.  (Breakaway colonies brought to heel by Damocles Crusade)

The only question remaining was whether the Knights of Altair would join this noble endeavor. It was not to be. On 6 835 742.M4, the 5th Company made one last desperate attack in order to wipe out the Tau on Namatos—and allow the Knights of Altair to rejoin the fleet.

This attack also failed—with significant losses to the Astartes. To the shame of Captain Vivant, he would have to remain on Namatos and finish his duel with the xenos. The Crusade Fleet was leaving the Knights of Altair behind. (Tau resistance tarnishes Imperial Crusade success)

Click here to read Part 2 of this update.

Click here to see more of the great artwork of Vukasin Ivkovic (VookaSheen) of

Click here  (or video  link at end) to see a video of the “I Life Again” YouTube channel that focuses on the Death Korps of Krieg.

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

Categories: Strategic Update

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