Welcome to Conflict Valorax, an open-ended narrative campaign for Warhammer 40,000 set deep within the Ultima Segmentum on the Eastern Fringe of the galaxy and close to the limit of mankind’s domain. The purpose of this campaign narrative is to richly detail the setting and history of the Valorax star system in order to bring a depth and storyline to ongoing games set within the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Games of Warhammer 40,000, Epic, Inquisitor, Aeronautica Imperialis, Space Crusade, Space Hulk and Battlefleet Gothic are all set within this greater context, each conflict adding detail to the ongoing plot.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Narrative Tactical Review: The Tau of War

Shas’O Tau’N Mal’Caor Run’Al surveyed the battlefield, a pall of smoke drifted across the ruins, the smell of death filling his nostrils and the tang of ionised air from pulse gun and las rifle made his skin tingle. The sudden silence was deafening, making his ears ring. He contemplated the loss of lives. This had been a costly victory as he had known it would be.

 As previously, the Tau air caste had bombarded the area, reducing a sizable part of the city to ruins, but unlike before the “Gue La” had dug in, their sizable infantry squads supported by elite assault troops and a multitude of specialist weapons. This was not the way he preferred the hunt but he had understood the need for consolidation.

He thought back to key moments of the conflict; An imperial troop carrier had dropped off a squad of assault troops that had nearly destroyed his own HQ and had then had made short work of a Hammerhead Gunship. The fearsome kroot that had been totally wiped out only accounting for a single enemy veteran squad and worst, their leader had survived the encounter. One of his Shas’la dying horribly, pierced by a dozen lasgun bolts. Although both Shas’ui from the fire warrior teams had shown themselves to be heroically courageous - either one would make a suitable replacement - his eyes stung from the personal loss he felt.

It had been necessary to use his infantry as a distraction, using them as little more than bait in a trap. The plan had been to surprise the humans with his reserves, who would surround and confound them, pinning them with massed fire. The plan had nearly backfired; partly due to the slight delay of his reinforcements and the resistance to superior Tau weaponry afforded by the cover the Humans had utilised; not to mention the unexpected arrival of so many Gue La by means of their sudden aerial attack. Had it not been for the stoicism of his fire warriors who refused to break even though their losses were considerable, the Tau initiative would have suffered a major setback if not total failure.

“The Hidden Spider” cast his mind back to the moment when victory (and defeat) had been decided.

He had been forced to abandon his stand-and-shoot stance when he realised that both his Shas' La had fallen to concentrated fire from two larger than usual enemy infantry squads and their Headquarters team. His own Battlesuit would not have withstood another salvo, so he had assaulted the snipers who had been targeting him, shooting as he went in.

One of the Human squads had broken cover, presumably aiming to overwhelm him with numbers. From the corner of his eye he had seen the veteran squad leader who had survived the Kroot attack charging though the ruins toward him, but the man levelled a powerful-looking hand gun and promptly disappeared in a ball of plasma energy. Luck had played its hand, so it was in this as it had been in many previous battles, and so it would always be “for the greater good”

The Humans had clearly learned from their comrades mistakes and had largely ignored the Broadsides, which having had no tanks to target had made little impact in the battle. Although savages, the Gue La were clearly not fools.

Mal’Caor Run’Al signalled to the Shas’ui for the force to move on to the next rendezvous point. He felt grief and anger over the heavy Tau losses, fuelling his desire to destroy all Gue La resistance. His mind was already formulating plans for the next and final conflict, this time it was not just for Tau, not just for “The Greater Good.”

This time it was personal.

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