Wurrshuv's Revenge - An ATT Campaign
Another brutal twist has been inflicted on the Tau, with a forward operations base in the northern Or'vesa region wiped from the face of the world in an instant under circumstances identical to the destruction of Outpost 84U over three weeks ago. This time surveillance drones and orbital imagery have been able to capture the horrifying attack as it progressed, and the Tau now know the nature of this new weapon. Wurrshuv has perfected the construction of his grav-smasha devices, immensely powerful weapons of mass destruction, and has now detonated two on Tau positions as a show of force. So far these grav-smasha weapons have only been used in the form of free-fall bombs dropped from high altitude by the specially designed Kustom Heavy Bommer known as 'Anargla Gork', but remains of a grav-smasha artillery shell have also been recovered by Tau forces and it is feared that Wurrshuv may be working on yet more delivery systems for these immensely powerful weapons.
The Tau have had no better fortune in space. Confident in their belief that the Ork naval forces were on the back-foot, the Tau fleet authorised a number of search-and-destroy sweeps to proactively hunt down and destroy the Orks in space before they could threaten M-88 or the Tau reinforcement corridors. These operations have ended in failure, with the Tau hunter-killer squadrons forced back by overwhelming numbers of Ork Roks and freeboota warships. Ork space presence is greater than anticipated, and it appears that the outer reaches of the system are thoroughly infested with Orks. The Tau fleet can still protect the reinforcement convoys travelling to M-88, and intercept any additional Roks approaching M-88, but more resources will be required if they are to completely rid the system of Greenskins.
Situation Updates - All Sectors
He'Sho Seas - ORK CONTROLLED
The mercenary allies that have fought alongside the Tau landing forces in the He'Sho Seas region continue to desert the planet at an alarming rate in light of the enormous bounties that have been placed on their heads by Wurrshuv. As they flee they take with them a vital source of manpower for the struggling Tau offensive in the area, leaving the Tau air-landing forces increasingly stretched out. In contrast, the forces opposing the Tau in the He'Sho Seas have seen their ranks swell with a growing influx of bounty hunters and corsairs eager to make a fortune on Wurrshuv's prices for each Tau-aligned mercenary, auxiliary and subject killed.
Despite this, the Tau continue to hold out in their foothold against the relentless Greenskin siege. Those Tau that have survived thus far have now become hardened by the merciless crucible of the He'Sho Seas, and the surviving cadres in the region have become murderously efficient Ork fighters. The experience they have gleaned from a month and a half of ceaseless bitter combat has allowed them to keep the Orks at bay, but the constant pressure of the counterattacking Ork hordes has likewise prevented them from advancing further into the He'Sho Seas.
Ork Points: 83
Tau Points: 17
Mo'Hav Plains - ORK CONTROLLED
Wurrshuv's ambitious plans to upgrade the road network in the Mo'Hav Plains have continued unimpeded, and vast legions of Gretchin labour under the whips of their Runtherd and Mek overseers to cover the Ork-built roads in a layer of thick rough-hewn pavement. Few Orks are able to fully comprehend the value of this endeavour, but see no reason to oppose it as it does not interfere with their quest for bloodshed. One notable exception to this rule is the Evil Sunz and Speed Freak warbands among Wurrshuv's armies, who are thrilled at how the new road surfaces enable them to travel even faster.
The ecology of the Mo'Hav Plains continues to decline. The skies overhead are frequently overcast with massive clouds of airborne pollutants from Ork industry in the He'Sho Seas and around Wurrshuv's Krunch, while the landscape is littered with festering pools and leaking containers of toxic waste that seeps into and permeates the soil for miles around. The once omnipresent grasslands of the region have all but vanished, replaced with barren industrial wastelands and sprawling fungus forests infested with Squigs and feral Snotlings. Earth Caste biologists estimate that unless something is done soon, the life within the Mo'Hav Plains biome will become over 90% Orkoid within a matter of weeks.
Ork Points: 81
Tau Points: 19
Wurrshuv's Krunch - ORK CONTROLLED
With air superiority firmly in their hands, the Ork air forces have relentlessly hammered Tau forces across the entire theatre of operations. A few scattered Tau aircraft still take to the sky from temporary operating bases hidden in the wilderness, but they no longer offer any serious resistance to the overwhelming waves of fighta-bommers that swarm across the skies of M-88, and only Fio Starport is truly safe from the Ork aerial onslaught. Although deep strikes on Tau rear echelon targets are still the main priority of the Ork air campaign, the Greenskins have also begun to employ greater amounts of tactical air support, with more and more fighta-bommers flying close air support missions on the front lines in direct support of attacking Ork forces. Those fighta-bommers fitted with external speaker systems are the most popular variants for this task, and needless to say the spectacle of a squadron of heavily armed fighta-bommers roaring in low over the battlefield at insane speeds blaring Ork 'Evy Metal and Goff Rok at full blast as they strafe and bomb anything in their path provides an enormous morale boost to the Orks who witness it.
The use of Ork weirdboys and warpheadz in battle has proven extremely successful, with the Tau proving unable to find an effective counter to the unpredictable but destructive forces of the Ork psykers. Wurrshuv and his subordinates are now seeking to employ these psychic Orks in front-line roles wherever possible.
In addition to constructing more conventional War Machines, the Ork foundries in the Krunch region have begun to escalate the conflict to an entirely new level. More and more of Wurrshuv's Meks are constructing increasing numbers of Stompas to supplement the Ork invasion. Worse still, Tau orbital and aerial surveillance has indicated that what were previously thought to be a number of new Ork settlements are in fact production sites for Gargants. Over a dozen Gargant construction sites have now been positively identified, including multiple Mega-Gargants currently under construction. It is estimated that they will become operational within a matter of weeks at most.
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.
Training Ground Saal'vesa - TAU CONTROLLED
Having broken the back of the latest Ork assaults on the Saal'vesa training grounds in the previous rotaa, the Tau have been unusually quick to capitalise on the opportunities afforded by Ork withdrawal. This speed has been attributed by some to renewed efforts at greater co-ordination and unity in the Tau's strategy for winning the conflict, but more cynical analysts believe it to simply be the result of opportunistic commanders continuing to think solely on the tactical level and seeking no other goal than to inflict as much damage as possible on their Greenskin adversaries.
Whatever the motivations may be, the Sa'cea cadres operating in the Empire Sector have exploited the Ork retreats in this region, sending long-range patrols to pursue the withdrawing Orks. These Sa'cea patrols have had considerable success, raiding the Ork columns and maintaining close pursuit. Several smaller Ork warbands have been cut off and destroyed by such raids, and the Orks are under heavy pressure as they race towards the follow-on Ork waves approaching from the Mo'Hav Plains and Wurrshuv's Krunch. The actions of the Sa'cea patrols have disrupted the Ork retreat, but it is feared by some that they may not be sufficient to prevent the Orks from linking up with the fresh waves of reinforcements approaching from the north and east.
Ork Points: 28
Tau Points: 72
Training Centre Or'vesa - TAU CONTROLLED
The heavy fighting around Training Centre Or'vesa has once more devolved into a gruelling stalemate. The combatants in this region have become hardened veterans and are now fully adjusted to the tactics and tricks employed by the other side. The result has seen every stratagem and counter-ploy thwarted, and no progress made by either side.
This is of little concern for the attacking Orks of the Northern Raiders. On the contrary, such conditions are seen by the Greenskins as ideal, providing a lasting fight of immensely satisfying brutality. The Gnarlborrow Boyz and Old Smashafist's armies have continued their rivalry, and many of the warriors in either force of Snakebites are now liberally decorated in trophies taken from slain Enclave warriors. On the Tau side, the contingents of Gue'vessa forces deployed in the Or'vesa region have proved themselves admirably, serving with distinction and preventing total collapse of the Tau lines in several sectors.
Ork Points: 36
Tau Points: 64
Fio Starport - TAU CONTROLLED
Once more the efforts of the Tau at Fio Starport have been put towards establishing a clear and unified strategy, and several high-priority meetings are being staged at the Tau headquarters on M-88. All Tau commanders in front-line positions have been requested to participate, and many observers believe that full turnout in these discussions will be key to avoiding the crises and setbacks that have plagued the Tau war effort on M-88 thus far.
Tau reinforcements have continued to flow unimpeded into Fio Starport, and the latest convoy to arrive has included something desperately needed by the Tau on M-88 - a full complement of advanced counter-stealth sensor arrays. Designed for detecting units equipped with cloaking fields, these devices are small-scale tactical level sensors with limited detection range, but they nonetheless represent the critical foundation on which to build a comprehensive sensor network to track Wurrshuv's Spekta mobs operating in the Tau rear echelons. The Tau now face a race against time to deploy these sensor arrays in the right locations before the Spektas can inflict more damage.
In the closing stages of the week, the ATT Shas'ar'tol has received an unusual transmission. The signal has yet to be conclusively traced, but if it is to be believed then it originates from a single Fire Warrior trapped in Ork-held territory, the sole survivor of an offensive in the earlier stages of the conflict. This Fire Warrior has reported that the Orks in their vicinity have been using looted Tau communication links to coordinate their efforts, and has proposed a plan of patching into this looted communication network and inciting infighting amongst the Orks. It remains to be seen what the Tau commanders will make of this message.
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
Change is beginning to occur in the theatre of operations on M-88. Invisible to those on the ground, fluctuations in temperature are beginning to grow as the planet progresses in its solar orbit. The days are beginning to grow darker, and the air more humid. Air Caste meteorology shows immense formations of clouds closing on the warzones fought over by the Tau and Orks, and ground surveys show vast numbers of M-88's native wildlife converging on the war-torn areas.
Though the invading Orks do not know it, the surface of M-88 is about to be transformed...