Strategic Update

A Strategic Update (Events of 742.M41) – Part 2

Warhammer 40K blog

Imperial armor advances across the agricultural basin known as the Dy’nar Valley.

The past actually happened but history is only what someone wrote down.“—M2 philospher

* * *

Dar Sai Campaign

Stalemate is the best description of the eight-year-old war that persists on the agri-moon of Dar Sai.

In the early years of the conflict, the Tau slowly—but steadily—expanded their control of the moon, eventually encompassing nearly one-third of its landmass. But since a major victory in 740.M41, when the xenos captured the strategic port of Aruna, the exhausted Tau offensive has been stalled.

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A Chimera fires its heavy flamer at the gigantic Tau battle suit known as a Riptide. With the assistance of fire from a Lemon Russ, the xeno construct was brought low.

For the first half of 742.M41, as the Tau attempted to advance on the strategically important port of Malifax,  the xenos found themselves stymied by the thick forests of the region  encircling the city. It took months to advance just 250 kilometers against relatively light Imperial opposition.

In a bid to break the deadlock, the xenos eyed a major attack through  the fertile Dy’nar Valley, a bountiful agricultural region where the forest has been cleared for farmland. Such open terrain was highly advantageous for the extremely mobile military tactics of the Tau.

On 3 427 742.M41, a column of Hammerhead tanks broke through a thin Imperial defensive line and, supported by mechanized infantry and protected by a screen of xeno aircraft overhead,, drove quickly westward.

But the apparent breakthrough was a ruse on the part of Imperial defenders. As the xenos advanced more than 100 kilometers over the next two days, their advance became disordered—and that’s when a major concentration of Imperial armor counterattacked. After fierce fighting, the Tau were defeated and forced to withdraw. (Tau stopped on drive to Malifax)

The fighting—the most significant in two years—ultimately left both sides exhausted. Imperial forces were starved of reinforcements by the demands of the Damocles Gulf Crusade, and the Tau—struggling to supply their forces from across the Damocles Gulf–simply could not pull together sufficient forces to relaunch an offensive.

Many Imperial officials are perplexed by the entire war. To them, it seemed obvious that the Damocles Crusade would begin by sweeping away the Tau presence in the Sculptor System, but crusade leaders dismissed the xeno presence as insignificant and set their sights on a more glorious campaign against the Tau Empire itself.

So, as 742.M41 ended, the war on Dar Sai appeared abandoned to local Imperial authorities— a war too insignificant to warrant resolution.

The 173rd Death Korps of Krieg Regiment holds Trench Position 52-54 outside the city of Diaspar. On the horizon can be seen thousands of enemy troops advancing across “no man’s land.”

Dozarian Campaign

No world has seen more ferocious battles this past year than Dozaria, where the Imperium and the Death Guard have been locked in a brutal fight that saw millions die.

One of the bloodiest campaigns in this war centered around Mygor, one of the largest cities still under Imperial control. Almost on a weekly basis, tens of thousands of heretical cultists and traitor Guard regiments, supported by scores of Death Guard Astartes, threw themselves at the trench lines protecting the city.

The intensity of fighting has strained the resolve of the average Imperial Guard soldier, and the living conditions in the trenches are so horrific that some Imperial officers are at a loss as to why the Imperial defenses continue to hold. (Such musings have sparked severe disciplinary action by the Commissariat.) (Heroism and misery in the Mygor trenches)

Another major campaign has been the Death Guard’s efforts to storm the city of Diaspar.

Although Imperial forces fought hard, the Death Guard and their allies—using human wave attacks—overwhelmed Imperial troops in their bid to break through Imperial lines. Over a period of weeks, the traitors forced their way forward until they reached the outskirts of the city. (Death Guard advance on key Dozarian city)

Unable to stand against the Death Guard, the Dozarian High Command asked the Knights of Altair to deploy and stem the traitors’ advance. Led by Captain Alaric Galba of the Knights’ 1st company, the loyalist Space Marines assumed control over the Imperial defenses and prepared to meet the expected assault on the city.

When the Death Guard finally attacked, what followed was a brilliant display of tactical acumen on the part of Captain Galba. While the Death Guard simply engaged in frontal assaults, the Knights launched a huge armored assault down the streets of the city—an unorthodox tactic, to be sure—yet one that proved devastating to the enemy.

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A Defiler scuttles down a street of Diaspar seeking to strike at the Knights of Altair. It did not get the chance. A lascannon shot from the Land Raider, “Tide of Wrath,” pierced the daemon-machine’s heart and left it a smoking ruin.

Not only was the traitor assault stopped cold, but the Death Guard were driven out of the city with heavy losses—a great victory for the Imperium. (Death Guard suffer massive defeat on Dozaria)

The last major battle of the year occurred at the Antium Manufactorum, a huge and strategically vital industrial center. The Death Guard employed a new tactic, firing thousands of rounds of warp-tainted gas- and chemical-warfare shells at the Imperial line.

So toxic was this biological and chemical assault that even guardsmen’s protective masks failed, leaving them crippled as the Death Guard stormed the trenches. The traitors actually broke through the line, although reinforcements in reserve managed—with great difficulty—to stop the enemy once they’d outdistanced the range of their artillery. (War Zones: Dozaria Update)

Other, smaller battles also broke out across the planet, all bringing the same horror and misery seen in these larger battles.

One Death Guard warlord, known as Ghaz Tak, used the dense jungles near the equator to slip through Imperial lines and attack an agri-manufactorum that thought itself safe from the war.

The town of Redolence was caught by surprise, and,  in what came to be known as the Slaughter of Redolence, thousands of Imperial citizens were massacred in the name of the traitors’ false gods. (War Zones: Dozaria Update)

The war also spilled over to the nearby planet of Polarian, where Ghaz Tak—some months later—partnered with the infamous Chaos sorceror Voloh Gudag to instigate an outbreak of the dreaded Kassig Plague in the planet’s capital city.

It was a plot clearly designed to create millions of infected citizens that would require Imperial reinforcements destined for Dozaria to be diverted from the war zone and instead save Polarian from being overrun by “zombies.”

This fiendish plan was stopped, however, by the arrival of  Inquisitor Elam Vaarak of the Ordo Hereticus and Captain Alaric Galba of the Knights of Altair, whose combined attack defeated these Chaos leaders and forced them to flee the planet. (Inquisition foils Kassig Plague outbreak on Polarian)

Click here for the conclusion of this report.

Click here to return to the beginning.

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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