Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Wurrshuv's Revenge - Week 4

Wurrshuv's Revenge - An ATT Campaign 

Week 4 

In the wake of Aun'el'Sa'cea Ol'Bentu'B's horrifying demise, the Tau coalition on M-88 has begun a period of intensive soul-searching and introspection. The ATT Shas'ar'tol and Enclave Command have both begun to take long hard looks at themselves, questioning everything from tactics employed on the ground, potential solutions to the simple but devastatingly effective innovations created by Wurrshuv, to overarching strategy and operational-level coordination. Many Tau commanders on M-88 have been recalled to the Tau headquarters at Fio Starport to partake in intense discussions and debates over the best course of action to take. This represents the first major communication between Tau commanders on such matters since the start of the recent hostilities almost a month ago. Many amongst the Shas'ar'tol consider this a step in the right direction, but it remains to be seen whether it will be able to yield any positive effects in time. 

In space Operational Group Or’res’tel’K has continued to closely guard Tau convoys as they travel through the system's reinforcement corridors to M-88, but the initial shock of their arrival has worn off, and rumours of a new worthy opponent to fight in space have brought exponentially more Ork Freebooters to Wurrshuv's banner. With Kor'vattra fleet K-42 remaining occupied with intercepting Ork Roks, Operational Group Or'res'tel'K has had their resources stretched thin and are hard pressed to cover everywhere at once. Once again Tau convoys carrying reinforcements, equipment and supplies to M-88 are beginning to fall prey to the Freeboota wolf-packs. The Tau admiralty is considering a number of plans for anti-piracy search and destroy missions in an attempt to proactively prevent raids on the convoys. 

Situation Updates - All Sectors 


By the skin of their teeth the Tau have managed to gain a second major success for their counter-offensive in the He'Sho Seas region. Desperate to alleviate the sagging morale of the Tau troops bottled in the Tau landing sites at FFG355Y, the commanders of the Tau air-landing force attempted their most audacious plan yet. Guided by a few bands of Tau stragglers with intimate knowledge of the Ork activity in the region, and aided by a single manta braving the formidable Ork air defences, a strike force of Tau and mercenary allies slipped past the Ork cordon and assault a secret Ork command hub. Multiple prominent Ork warbosses and chieftains have been using this site to coordinate the Ork counter-attacks on the landing zones, and had recently begun preparations for a massive psychic ritual, intended to summon an avatar of one of the Ork gods, Mork and Gork, to obliterate the Tau intruders once and for all. 

The Tau strike force managed to arrive just as the massed Ork weirdboys and Warpheadz were completing the final preparations for the ritual. Ork resistance proved tremendous, and in the early stages of the engagement the defending Greenskins came close to breaking the Tau strike force before they could even begin their mission. Salvation came in the form of the Tau strike force's secret weapon, a sophisticated network of energy shields. Expecting heavy resistance and well aware of the critical manpower shortage plaguing their operations in the area, the Tau commanders pooled their entire compliment of shield drones, in addition to a number of other drones hastily converted to shield drones with the addition of surplus battlesuit shield generators, and networked them together to create a protective defence grid that covered the strike force's advance. The gambit worked superbly, and though most of the component drones were destroyed or damaged beyond repair, the network succeeded in absorbing the worst of the Ork firepower long enough for the Tau to cripple the Ork defences. 

After a full rotaa of intense combat the Tau were victorious. The casualties sustained have been considerable, but the site, Ork shamans and the Ork leadership gathered there were all destroyed. a freak plasma blast mixed with the unstable psychic energies building up in the area resulted in a catastrophic blast that wiped the site from the face of the planet, though not before the Tau could successfully evacuate with what wounded and salvaged equipment they could recover. The resulting disruption to the Ork command structure has allowed the Tau to break out of the beachhead at FFG355Y and establish a small foothold in the He'Sho Seas region. 

Ork Points: 83
Tau Points: 17


In an attempt to disrupt the Ork logistics chain, a force of Auxiliary and Tau volunteers launched an assault on an outlying Ork settlement in the Mo'Hav Plains region close to the Saal'vesa training grounds. In an engagement now referred to by the Orks as 'Firty-Sevin Orking' after the name of the settlement under attack, the Tau-led auxiliary offensive was cut off and systematically annihilated by a three-pronged pincer movement from multiple Ork armoured formations. These Ork armoured forces contained large quantities of new War-Machine class vehicles assembled locally by Wurrshuv's Meks, and their losses were minimal, especially in comparison to the total destruction of the Tau-led incursion. 

The attack has since been identified by the ATT Shas'ar'tol as a grevious error, and is believed to have been orchestrated by impetuous commanders eager to recreate the success of the landings in the He'Sho Seas region. Preparations for the offensive were hasty, and intelligence gathering prior to it was negligable. Operating almost completely without support, the Tau commanders responsible for the operation dangerously underestimated the intelligence of their Ork adversaries, who deliberately lured them past the Ork front-lines to prevent any Tau reinforcements from arriving in time. It is believed any survivors have since been captured by the Orks and put to work as slave-labourers in Wurrshuv's factories, and orbital imagery has shown convoys of Wurrshuv's Soopa-Krawlas and Mega-Krawlas departing the battlegrounds laden with freshly scavenged Tau technology for the Ork war effort. Renowned commander of the 42nd T'au Guards Cadre, Shas'O Da'Anuk, has called the ill-fated attack one of the most senseless tragedies of the conflict thus far. 

Ork Points: 81
Tau Points: 19

Wurrshuv's Krunch - ORK CONTROLLED 

Roll'n Thunda, the Ork's titanic air offensive, continues to hammer Tau forces across the entire theatre of operations on M-88. Tau aircraft losses have become unsustainable, and there is a very real danger that the Air Cadres on M-88 may become broken before long as the Orks cement their grip on air superiority. Most Tau airbases have been badly damaged by relentless Ork airstrikes, and 'Savage Squig' Fighta-Bommer flights continue to decimate the Tau air-defence network. The Orks have also begun to make further use of artillery as part of their SEAD efforts, with many Tau air-defence sites in the Or'vesa and Saal'vesa regions being targeted by merciless barrages from Ork Soopa-gun batteries massed on the edges of the neighbouring Krunch region, where the formidable Ork defences and vast concentrations of Ork forces nearby safeguard them from Tau retaliation. 

Wurrshuv's elite Kommando Mobs, the Spektas, have proven instrumental in the success of Roll'n Thunda. Taking advantage of their looted Tau cloaking fields to operate in close proximity to Tau forces, large numbers of Spekta Mobs have been tasked with searching out Tau airbases, air-defence sites, sensor arrays, communications hubs and other critical targets and marking them for destruction by Ork airstrikes. Once a suitable target is located, the Spektas will note down its position and transmit the information to the necessary sources through a system of primitive analogue channels including visual signals (carefully timed flashing lights are popular), dead drops and courrier squigeons. Such methods are slow to reach the Ork leadership, but their completely analogue nature makes them completely impervious to Tau Signals Intelligence efforts. For mobile Tau assets such as air-defence weaponry, a Spekta mob will typically relay the general area of operations and then shadow the mobile platforms, marking out their precise location with coloured smoke or flares when they hear the approaching Fighta-Bommers. 

In addition to the ever-present Beepy Gubbinz countermeasures, Wurrshuv has introduced a deadly new weapon in his arsenal. Inspired by the Tau efforts to cloak objects larger than the standard Stealthsuit models, Wurrshuv has begun to fit looted stealth-field technology onto Fighta-Bommers. Named 'Squighawks' after the ferocious Orkoid predator, these advanced 'Stelf Fightas' have proven highly effective in combat against both Tau aircraft and Tau air-defence sites. There have also been a number of unconfirmed reports about black-painted Ork Warkoptas that have also been fitted with scavenged stealth technology to facilitate covert insertion of Spekta Mobs, but no concrete evidence has been found to support the existence of these so-called 'Blak Koptas'. 

Wurrshuv has not failed to neglect his ground forces in the face of the Ork success in the air, and the Big Mek has begun construction of vast numbers of new Ork War Machines for his armies, often organised into massive armoured formations such as those used in the battle of Firty-Sevin Orking. The Ork heavy tanks known as Gutrippas, Bonebreakas and Bonecrunchas have all been sighted in production and in combat at Firty-Sevin Orking, as well as Lungbursta assault guns and Braincrusha tank-destroyers. Big Mek Speedstas have also been sighted both in production and in support of these Ork armoured formations in combat at Firty-Sevin Orking. Large numbers of these Ork War Machines are being massed in the Mo'Hav plains and staging grounds in Wurrshuv's Krunch, poised to exploit any Ork breakthroughs. 

Ork Points: 100
Tau Points: 0

Note: Due to heavy Ork defences and overwhelming numbers of Orks in the area, Tau players may not report games in this region.

"On T'ros we used Stealth Teams to locate Gue'la supply columns for the Air Caste to destroy. On Dal'yth we used Stealth Teams to shadow Gue'la invasion forces. It was inevitable that the universe would find some way to even the score." 

- Shas'O'T'au Kais'Ka'Eoro'Da'Anuk, commenting on recent Ork Spekta activities

Training Ground Saal'vesa - TAU CONTROLLED

Advancing in the wake of the Speed Freak vanguard, elements of Wurrshuv's regular armies are beginning to reach the front lines at the Empire Sector in the region around Training Ground Saal'vesa. With the Tau forces in the south continuing to be occupied in battling the highly mobile Speed Freak warbands, the added pressure from this second echelon of Ork forces threatens to tip the correlation of forces decisively in favour of the Orks. 

The Tau forces are slowly beginning to recover from the devastating psychological blow of Aun'el'Sa'cea Ol'Bentu'B's death and fight back with renewed ferocity. One particularly notable incident saw a force of ATT battlesuits engaged in combat with a large force of Ork infantry advancing on a ruined Tau outpost. Once again the Tau were forced to make use of an orbital attack to stem the overwhelming Ork numbers, but ultimately proved successful in routing the Orks from the area, the greenskins departing after hearing news of more promising combat elsewhere. Their pursuit of the Ork forces has provided the Tau with an opportunity to conduct intelligence-gathering on the ground in Ork-held territory. 

Ork Points: 32
Tau Points: 68

Training Centre Or'vesa - TAU CONTROLLED

While many of the Tau commanders remain paralysed by internal debate, Shas'el Kiv'rai'ka'nan has acted. Frustrated with the devastating effects of the Ork's operational and strategic efforts, and the lack of Tau activity to counter them, the Shas'el has decided to take decisive action of his own accord in an attempt to stem what damage he can. To this end Kiv'rai'ka'nan has dispatched his Hunter Cadre to the outskirts of the Or'vesa region, close to Ork-held territory, on a mission of utmost importance - the capture of several key pieces of the technology created by Wurrshuv. 

 Shas'el Kiv'rai'ka'nan's troops have thus far performed well. The cadre reached its first objective - an Ork outpost containing a Sensa array - within days of their deployment. Recognising the danger in getting bogged down in protracted engagement with Ork reinforcements, Kiv'rai'ka'nan was careful to maximise the element of surprise and moved with as much speed as possible to seize the Ork Sensa array. Suffering only minimal casualties to the defending Ork garrison, Kiv'rai'ka'nan's troops swiftly stormed the Ork outpost and managed to capture the Sensa array relatively intact, absconding with it before Ork reinforcements could arrive. The device has since been examined by Kiv'rai'ka'nan's forces and re-purposed for their own use in securing their operational sector against incursions by Spekta Mobs. Shas'el Kiv'ra'ka'nan has given orders to his forces to prioritise the capture of any further Ork Sensa arrays they encounter as a stop-gap to protect against the Orks' looted stealth technology. 

Ork Points: 36
Tau Points: 64


The Earth Caste at Fio Starport have continued their herculean efforts to undo the damage inflicted to the starport and nearby bases by Ork air raids. Their task is not without danger, and a significant number of Fio have been killed or wounded while serving. Their sacrifice has not been in vain, and their work has allowed the starport to continue to function, keeping the stream of reinforcements and supplies flowing from the Tau transport convoys in orbit. 

Most of the Tau's focus has been on discussion and evaluation. A large number of think-tanks have been commissioned at Fio Starport to analyse the situation on M-88. Research facilities have been established to examine captured examples of Wurrshuv's inventions, and representatives of all of the Tau castes plus many allies and auxiliary species have been formed into conclaves to formulate new ideas on the optimal course of action for the Tau forces to proceed on. Some have raised concerns that the importance of these actions is being dismissed by Tau commanders, and there are fears amongst the Shas'ar'tol that a number of Tau commanders have considered engaging in such dialogue to be beneath them. Such an outlook would be a grave error in judgement. 

In light of recent developments, the ATT Shas'ar'tol has begun to mobilise one of its last remaining trump cards - the Guards Cadres. Several contingents of Guards Cadres have been deployed to M-88, and thus far have been carefully held in reserve with the ATT Shas'ar'tol originally anticipating their use to spearhead the planned Empire offensive into Ork-held regions. With the Tau bogged down in stalemates on both fronts, such a grand offensive is looking increasingly unlikely, and so the Guards Cadres on M-88 have been forward-based on the edge of the Fio Starport region in case they are required for a decisive counter-attack against the Ork offensive there. 

Ork Points: 0
Tau Points: 100

Note: Due to the extensive Tau defence networks in place within this region, Ork players may not report games in this territory.

Ork Campaign Points: 4
Tau Campaign Points: 4

Tau forces have now reached the location of Outpost 84U. Initial teams have reported no trace of the Tau base and no signs of life within its vicinity, the only feature in the area being a gigantic barren blast-crater with a diameter of several tor'kan. No survivors have been found. Analysis has indicated that the earth of the blast-crater has been compacted to an unusual degree, and several atmospheric anomalies have been detected at the blast-site. Further study is underway to uncover what caused this catastrophe. 

The mysterious attacks on isolated Tau forces have continued, and reports of slaughtered Tau and auxiliary patrols have been reported in rear echelons in both the Empire and Enclave sectors. It is now believed to be all but certain that the culprit behind these attacks is the same party responsible for the assassination of Aun'el'Sa'cea Ol'Bentu'B. So far the only clue as to the nature of this culprit is a single unfocused image capture taken from a discarded Tau helmet, showing a large Ork-like silhouette with a head covered in what appear to be locks of hair. 


TO: ATT Shas'ar'tol
AUTHOR: Shas'ui'Tash'var Mont'yr'Siral
SUBJECT: Intelligence Report on Ores'la Logistics Operations


The following is a compilation of our observations regarding the Ores'la logistics capability in the Mo'Hav Plains. As you know, my team was deployed into the Mo'Hav Plains region following our recent victories against the Ores'la in the Saal'vesa training grounds. As you know, a contingent of our ATT battlesuit units repelled an Ores'la infantry formation some time ago, and the resulting confusion allowed my team to be inserted deep behind enemy lines in the Mo'Hav Plains, known to be a major logistics hub for the Ores'la invasion. After arriving in the region, my team was able to perform long-range observation of Ores'la logistics activity for a few rotaa before being forced to withdraw. I must regret to inform you that we have paid a heavy price for this information - of the 8 Pathfinders under my command and our attached drones and Devilfish transport, only one Shas'la survived the mission along with myself. I pray that the sacrifice of my warriors will not be in vain. 

My team focused the majority of our observation efforts on the Ores'la superheavy logistics transports. These designs have, to the best of our knowledge, not been encountered by the Tau Empire before, and appear to be a rare phenomenon in Ores'la combat operations. It was therefore our reasoning that gathering intelligence on these new units would be the best use of our time. Given that there are no previously observed encounters of these Ores'la logistics units as far as we can ascertain, it is our belief that these vehicles were commissioned by Wurrshuv himself, and are likely based on designs originally conceived by Wurrshuv. We have observed four varieties of these superheavy logistics transports, which can be classified into two categories based on mass and two classes based on function. We have chosen to adopt the latter system for the purposes of this report, and have compiled our findings into two distinct classes of Ores'la superheavy logistics transport: 'Tankas' and 'Krawlas', which are titles that the Ores'la themselves have been observed using to refer to these vehicles. 

Regardless of what class they fall under, all such logistics transports share a number of features in common. Perhaps most obviously, all are extremely large - even the smaller varieties dwarf the Gue'la Titan superheavy walkers by several orders of Magnitude, and appear vastly larger than even the superheavy command vehicles used by the Gue'la. All of these gigantic vehicles make use of continuous tracks for propulsion, with the vast majority sporting four independently articulated tread units. This gives them good mobility over rough terrain, an important factor given the often unkempt nature of Ores'la transportation infrastructure. None of them have been observed travelling fast, and it is almost certain that their immense size and weight gives them a low maximum speed. All observed vehicles share a number of similarities in hull design, and it is our theory that they are derived from the same pattern of chassis. The primary difference appears to be the configuration of their transport compartments. 


My team has observed that the Ores'la superheavy transports known as Tankas are primarily constructed in two mass classes. The Ores'la themselves refer to these classes as 'Soopa-Tankas' and 'Mega-Tankas'. Of the two, Soopa-Tankas are somewhat smaller, though smaller here is a relative term - as previously mentioned, even the smallest of them dwarf most superheavy walkers thus far encountered by several orders of magnitude. Mega-Tankas are larger, and can reach truly mind-numbing scales. 

Regardless of their size, both varieties of Tanka are, as their name suggests, specialised for the bulk transportation of liquid cargo. To this end all examples we encountered prominently featured at least one massive cylindrical cargo tank, often cradled in the centre of the vehicle's construction. Both Soopa-Tankas and Mega-Tankas were both observed with only minimal weaponry, but all examples were well-armoured, featuring exceptionally thick plating on all aspects and potential angles of attack. Their main cargo tanks were especially well-protected. Given their size it is likely that Soopa-Tankas and Mega-Tankas both feature large numbers of redundant systems, which combined with their immense bulk and the ablative effect of the Ores'la's ramshackle engineering would make any example extremely difficult to destroy. 

A variety of liquids are frequently transported by Soopa-Tankas and Mega-Tankas, but the most common cargo we observed them carrying was a variety of oils and other liquid fossil-fuels used by the Ores'la for energy production. A single Soopa-Tanka can carry enough fuel to fully stock over a dozen large mechanised Ores'la warbands, and Mega-Tankas boast an even larger capacity. Such enormous quantities of fuel would undoubtedly be useful for the Ores'la production efforts concentrated around their initial landing site. Aside from fuel, Soopa-Tankas and Mega-Tankas were observed carrying water, lubricants, mechanical coolant and on a few occasions sewage and industrial waste products. It is theorised that they may even be able to transport gas cargo as well as liquids. 


Like their Tanka counterparts, the Ores'la logistics transports known as 'Krawlas' also appear to be constructed in two sizes. Called, 'Soopa-Krawlas' and 'Mega-Krawlas' by the Ores'la, these vehicles share much in common with Tankas. As with the Tanka classes, Soopa-Krawlas appear to be smaller than Mega-Krawlers, but both are vast in size. Soopa-Krawlas and Mega-Krawlas appear to be more common than their Tanka counterparts, and it is our theory that the Tankas are in fact a specialised variant of Krawla. 

Unlike Tankas, Soopa-Krawlas and Mega-Krawlas are not built with the handling of a specific item in mind, instead being general-purpose cargo transports for a variety of goods. To facilitate this end Soopa-Krawlas and Mega-Krawlas sport massive geometric cargo holds, typically rectangular in configuration. They also typically sport an array of cranes and mechanical arms on their roofs to aid in loading and unloading operations (Tankas, in contrast, generally feature an array of hoses instead to handle the transfer of their cargo). Soopa-Krawlas and Mega-Krawlas both typically have a large cabin-like structure at their front which houses the driving compartment, amongst other things, and a large engine block at the back - both features they share with Tankas. Crew accommodations are believed to be distributed amongst the front and flanks of the vehicles. 

Like Tankas, Soopa-Krawlas and Mega-Krawlas feature formidable armour protection, but only minimal armament, being intended almost purely for use as cargo transports. Despite ostensibly being intended for non-combat roles, Soopa-Krawlas and Mega-Krawlas nonetheless consistently feature large poughs, rams and similar implements mounted on their prows, which enable them to effectively bulldoze their way through obstacles. Given the enormous weight behind them, it is likely that such devices could inflict a lot of damage on any enemy foolish enough to be caught in front of a Soopa-Krawla or Mega-Krawla (or their Tanka counterparts, which also sport this feature). Given the frequent use of mechanical claws, arms and similar devices by the Ores'la as offensive weapons, I suspect that the array of cranes and mechanical arms mounted on Soopa-Krawlas and Mega-Krawlas can be easily re-purposed by their Ores'la crew to defend against attackers. 

All varieties of Tanka and Krawla feature Wurrshuv's insignia emblazoned on their sides and top, often in very large scale, and it seems that the Ores'la warlord takes some measure of pride in their creation. Despite this, it seems most Ores'la find the idea of transporting goods in a slow vehicle far away from the front lines to be extremely tedious and largely beneath them, and thus the majority of a Tanka or Krawla's crew will typically consist of the diminutive Ores'la subspecies known as Gretchin. This in turn means that Tankas and Krawlas typically feature at least one of the Ores'la slave handlers known as 'Runtherds' in a prominent command role, necessary to direct and control the large numbers of Gretchin aboard. Overall command of a Tanka or Krawla is generally the role of an Ores'la 'Mek' engineer, and it is suspected that such a duty is given as punishment to those Meks who fail or anger Wurrshuv in some manner. Those Ores'la seen as part of a Tanka or Krawla crew are likely in a similar situation. 

While Krawlas and Tankas travelling in isolation have been sighted, my team has observed that both vehicles more commonly travel together in large convoys for safety in numbers, frequently guarded by a sizeable Ores'la escort force. I must admit that the sight of such a convoy of these immense vehicles is nothing short of awe-inspiring as they ply the wilderness and dusty Ores'la roads. These convoys constantly travel from various Ores'la settlements and strongholds, transporting cargoes of fuel, ammunition, supplies, minerals and raw materials as well as, most importantly for the Ores'la, salvaged Tau items.  My team even observed a few occasions where Krawlas were used to transport Ores'la warriors en mass. It is possible that the Ores'la were hitching a ride on the Krawlas as they travelled to a new cargo pick-up point. While most Ores'la appear to look down on the idea of operating a Krawla or Tanka, they certainly seem to appreciate the large quantities of weaponry, ammunition and fuel they provide. 

It is our conclusion that Krawlas and Tankas of all classes are tremendous force multipliers for Wurrshuv's armies. Wurrshuv's fleet of Krawlas and Tankas allow him to move vast quantities of materials and supplies en mass over long distances, which in turn gives Wurrshuv's forces powerful logistical support. It is highly unusual for an Ores'la to put so much thought and effort towards logistics, and this is a clear sign of Wurrshuv's intentions and preparations to wage an extended war against us. This suggests Wurrshuv is extremely intelligent, and is further evidence of the dire threat he poses to the Tau Empires' continued security. 

This is Shas'ui'Tash'var Mont'yr'Siral, signing off. 


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