Dar Sai Campaign

Tau repulsed in Dark Forest of Dar Sai – Part 1

Warhammer 40K blog

Guardsmen of 2nd Platoon deploy for battle after scouts warn of advancing Kroot warriors.

And they smote the enemies of the Emperor with a righteous fury, for they knew they were doing His workLieutenant Kronin, 13th Penal Legion, also known as the “Last Chancers”

* * *

Tactical Analysis
Battle of the Dark Forest
Great Continent, Dar Sai
Sculptor System
3 314 743.M41
Author: Anton Delmara,
Lieutenant, 728th Cadian Regiment


On 3 314 743.M41, the 728th Cadian Regiment was deployed along a defensive line approximately 1,300 kilometers west of the port city of Malifax. This heavily forested region dominated the southeast corner of the Great Continenet of Dar Sai.

Warhammer 40K blog

This battle was fought in the Dark Forest, a rugged primeval forest to the west of the strategically important Port Malifax.

The Tau invaders of our world sought to capture Malifax, as it was the largest port on the eastern edge of the Great Continent, and its capture would leave the xenos with two of the largest cities on the moon. This would give the xenos a strategic advantage that might well prove impossible to overcome. Thus, it was critical to prevent the xenos from reaching the port city.

The planet’s terrain has been our greatest asset in this effort. The Tau would need to pass through the Dark Forest, a primeval forest with some of the most rugged terrain on the moon. Rocky gorges, deep ravines, tall cliffs, rugged hills, dense forests, and few roads stymied the xeno army at every turn.

Coupled with the aggressive defensive tactics of our commander, Captain Stevrous Stark, the superior forces of the Tau were advancing at a crawl, while suffering heavy casualties.

On 3 314 743.M41, my command [2nd Platoon, Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 728th Regiment] was ordered to advance up Trail 1703 {Sector coordinates to follow]. Loyalist guerillas in the area had reported troop movements along the trail, and my orders were to investigate, repulse the xenos if possible, or at least delay the enemy if their force was superior to my own.

Warhammer 40K blog

Several Tau vehicles, supported by Kroot auxiliary troops, test the Imperial defenses by exploring a trail in the heavy woods of the Dark Forest.

First sighting

Advancing at first light, 2nd Platoon advanced 25 kilometers down Trail 1703 when, at 13:20, scouts reported enemy movement to our front.

It was soon apparent that the xenos were aware of our presence, as their troops on the trail were redeploying. Three vehicles—a Devilfish transport and two Piranha scout skimmers—along with several squads of infantry were deploying at an isolated hamlet to the north of the trail.

Another small force of Kroot auxiliaries were spreading out into a skirmish formation and advancing down the south side of the trail.

This information came at great cost. The Kroot are an avian species from a forested world, and they are extremely adept in a wooded environment. Within minutes of my scouts’ reports, I lost communication with them. I can only hope they died quickly—and were not alive when the xenos, as is their wont, feasted upon them.

Based on the information I had, however, I was able to determine that the xeno force was no larger than my own, and I ordered a combat deployment: 1st and 2nd Squads formed ranks on the north side of the trail and would lead the assault on the enemy-held hamlet. They would be supported by the command Chimera and two accompanying armored Sentinels. 

The 3rd Squad was sent south of the trail, with orders to delay the Kroot advance and secure our flank. An attached heavy weapons squad would use its mortars to provide support as needed.

Tactical Note:  As the map at right shows, the xeno force was somewhat split as it advanced. There was an opportunity to attack the isolated xeno force to the north of the trail, and the bulk of 2nd Platoon was deployed accordingly. That meant, however, that 3rd Squad—deployed south of the trail—would need to give ground and keep this xeno force distracted for an hour or so.

First blood

By my thinking, the Kroot almost certainly would seek to turn my left flank, using the dense forest to minimize incoming fire as they moved into charge range of my troops. If I stayed on the defensive, the Tau could pin down my main force with a demonstration while the Kroot defeated my flanking force—and then get behind me.

A classic single-envelopment attack.

Warhammer 40K blog

As 2nd Platoon advanced, two Tau skimmers left the cover of a cornfield and targeted an advancing Chimera. It was an impetuous decision that cost the Tau the majority of their armor support.

It was imperative to spoil the xeno plan. At 13: 35, I advanced my main force to the north of the trail, directly at the enemy, and ordered my left flank to hold the line as long as possible, but give ground if pressed. In other words, slow any threat to my flank until I’d dealt with the main enemy threat to my front.

The majority of the platoon quickly advanced 150 meters until we reached a stream, where a thin line of trees on the other side shielded us from a cornfield just south of the enemy-held hamlet. As scouts began to cross the water, they came under small-arms fire from the xenos, and two enemy Piranhas (small scout skimmers) roared out of the cover of the cornfield  and raced toward our Chimera  lumbering down the trail.

Although this sudden attack was alarming, I also realized the xenos had made a terrible mistake. Unbeknownst by the enemy , my two armored Sentinels were in the woods near the Chimera, and when the skimmers moved to attack, the Sentinels burst out of the trees and opened fire.

Combined with the fire of the Chimera’s heavy bolters, the first enemy skimmer was destroyed. The second was damaged and, trailing black smoke, quickly retreated to the relative safety of the cornfield.

Click here to read the conclusion of this battle.

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





2 replies »

  1. This battlefield looks great. Such a refreshing change from the typical dull gray of most 40k games. Well done!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.