“The bitterness of defeat is almost too great to bear. The shame of it gnaws at my soul. I have failed my warriors, yet somehow I must lead them forward. Duty onto death.”—private thoughts of Captain Martel Vivant, commander, 5th Company, Knights of Altair Space Marine Chapter
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+ Begin Report +
BATTLE REPORT: 1-43X
LOCATION: Namatos Colony
TO: High Marshal Adrias Ioculus
FROM: Martel Vivant
DATE: 6 217 743.M41
My Lord High Marshal,
After several notable failures, I am pleased to report some progress in the 5th Company’s efforts to drive the Tau from the colony of Namatos.
On this day, a small task force under my command conducted an aerial drop into the xeno-held town of Cellis in an attempt to restore Imperial order. Victory was ours.
The attack began with two tactical squads arriving over the town aboard Stormraven gunships and rappelling down into the town market square. I personally led the assault.
Enemy fire was heavy, and two marines were wounded in the first minute of combat.
The market square, which appeared from surveillance drones to be empty of a xeno presence, was not as optimal a landing site as I presumed. The Tau responded with astonishing speed. I suspect that significant xeno forces were billeted in the area, as we found ourselves surrounded almost immediately.
Although the market stalls and tents blocked the enemy line of sight, their powerful weapons penetrated the light cover easily and wounded another marine before we could abandon the square and move into heavier cover.
Squad Guarin managed to reach a covered walkway to the west of the market square, where it set up an effective firing line that soon suppressed enemy fire to the south.
Squad Jasque stormed a Tau position in a building to the east, slaughtered the defending xenos, and used the back entrance of the building to move south and outflank another xeno firing position.
It was at this time I received a direct hit to my chest, a plasma round fired by a xeno Stealth Suit penetrating my armor and damaging my second heart. For about two minutes, I was on my back, out of action, until Apothecary Vaden reached me and administered the appropriate battle stims to put me back on my feet.
Two marines stood guard over me during my brief incapacitation and, upon my recovery, I led them on an assault of the main Tau firing line.
What followed was a classic double envelopment. While I drew the majority of enemy fire toward my small fire team, Squads Guarin and Jasque rolled up the flanks of the Tau position.
This entire fight lasted approximately 10 minutes. By then, the market square and surrounding areas were secured, and our gunships ferried the rest of 5th Company inside the town.
Although the Tau excel in a battle of maneuver, the dense urban setting of the town proved the xenos’ undoing. Their highly maneuverable vehicles were easily bypassed or destroyed by point-blank plasma gun fire, and the ability of my Space Marines to close into hand-to-hand combat devastated every xeno infantry position.
Hundreds of xenos died over the course of the next four hours of fighting, with only six wounded among my marines. The Tau finally retreated into the forests to the west of the town.
As I write this, I am aboard a Rhino transport, pursuing the xenos with great haste, with the goal of not allowing them to reorganize and create a new defensive line.
Captain Martel Vivant
+ End Report +
TheGM: This is the last battle report of the Shorehammer 2022 gaming convention. It is a very truncated account of the fight. I was very busy adjudicating the game play of my players, and although I managed a few hasty photos of the event, I failed to take any blow-by-blow notes.
What I do recall was that the fighting was intense—and it came down to the wire, with both sides ready to retreat if a Morale Check had gone wrong. In the end, it was the Tau players that rolled poorly. But that was just the luck of the die.
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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