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[Narritivebatrep] St. Sebastion Abbey incursion (Tau Vs UltraMarines)[Pic Heavy]
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Old 28 Apr 2008, 21:03   #1 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Glasgow
Posts: 2,697
Default [Narritivebatrep] St. Sebastion Abbey incursion (Tau Vs UltraMarines)[Pic Heavy]

this is another battle from the "Naxos Campaign" i'm playing with my brother. A little more background can be found in my last post. http://forums.tauonline.org/index.php?topic=62877.0

i was a little scetchy where to post this, because it is more from the Space Marine point of view, but i was the Tau player and i posted the last battle in this server so i decided to post it here rather than the SM server.

Basically all the perameters are explained, this is a narrative battle report, mostly becuase i write it from memory, and fluff it up a bit, but the actual battle pans out the same way it actually did. played this one about 2 weeks ago.

Armies
Tau - Cal'Vral'Ru'La Kau'Ui - Commanded by Majonga
HQ – Aun’Kunas + Bodyguard, Shas’O Savon + Shas’ve bodyguard
Elites – Crisis team, Stealth Team
Troops – 1st & 2nd Rifles, 1st and 2nd Carabineers, Shaper Bob’s Kroot war band
Fast Attack – Pathfinders, Gun drone squadron
Heavy support – Broadside Shas’vre, Broadside Shas’vre

Space Marines - 5th Company Ultramarines - Commanded by Lowraj
HQ – Marneus Augustus Calgar, Captain Marius & Comand Squad
Elites – Terminators, Terminator Assualt Squad, Ancientius Extremetus
Troops – Tactical Squads One, Two & Three
Fast Attack – Assualt Squad

Game
Custom Mission - Win Condition - have the most scoring units in the abbey by the end of turn 6
1900pts
Deep Strike
Infiltrate
Reserves
6’ by 4’ board



Background
Following the fifth company’s failure to capture the fords of the Eurymedon River, east of Neoptolomy Hive, the battle took on a stalemate, with the space marines unable to gain a beachhead on the opposite shore. Frustrated with the lack of advance in this sector Marneus Calgar, Chapter Master of the Ultramarines, took personal command. Up until now the main Tau army had been elusive, using the fords and any other crossings as lures for imperial forces. The imperial high command had learned the hard way that any attack on these areas was folly.

Calgar intended to play the Tau at their own game. He would use himself as the lure, knowing the Tau could not resist the chance to assassinate the high commander of the Ultramarines. He would purposely leak information to the Tau that he was going off on a salvage mission, with just a small bodyguard to the ruins of the St. Sebastian Abbey some 50 miles to the east of the Hive city. There he would trap the Tau army between heavy defenses and reinforcements, cutting them to pieces and winning a decisive victory.

The Tau fell for it.

Battlefield Description
The Abbey of St. Sebastian lies on a large bend in the Eurymedon River, approx. 50 miles east of the Hive city Neoptolomy. The Abbey itself is broken ruin, its roof having fallen in are many years of disuse. There is a large breach in its outer wall that faces east. The doors of the south gate have long rotted, the chapel of sanctity stands on the south wall, a shadow of its former glory, but in a much better state than the rest of the building. Across the river lies a large hilly wood, with an old abandoned bunker which has been in disuse since before the planet was under the ruler-ship of the Tau Empire.



Deployment
The space marines deployed first since they where the first to arrive. Calgar immediately set up his HQ in the Chapel of Sanctity. Captain Marius deployed with TS1 (Tactical Squad One) at the south gate. TS2 deployed in the breach, with TS2 in reserve. Dreadnought Ancientius Extremetus remained with the rest of the 5th Company in reserve.

The Tau cautiously approached through the wood. The First Carabineers deployed on the far left flank of the Tau army, among woods directly across from the South Gate. Shaper bob’s kroot formed up in the woods with a clear line of sight to the Breach, they were supported by a Broadside. On the far right flank of the army the 2nd Carabineers and the 2nd rifles formed up to advance on the eastern walls of the Abbey. Aun’Kunas remained behind the tree line with the rest of the Cadre. Shas’O Savon waited with a Rapid deployment cadre so as to reinforce when necessary.

Report
Phase 1:
Tau presence was first sited some 45 minutes after Calgar’s arrival. The Ultramarines were unable to secure the outer defenses or the all important bunker before their arrival so they would have to rely strictly on the crumbling walls of the Abbey for cover. The Tau wasted no time and Captain Marius found himself engaged in a heavy firefight at the South Gate. Tau forces where firing from the shelter of a wooded hill on the other side of the river.

Across the battlefield Tau engaged at range. Casualties were taken across the defenses, Tau snipers captured the Bunker, and from their rained down fire on the open breach. TS2 took heavy casualties as the high powered rail-rifle rounds punched through their power armor, like paper. Calgar immediately withdrew them, realizing the Tau had brought up firepower that at the moment he could not compete with.

The two forces swapped fire, as the Ultramarines crouched behind the ruined walls of the abbey, the Tau advanced pouring fire against the defences. A large force of Tau made an attempt to cross the river on the far left of the Imperial flank, out in the open the Ultramarines avenged their fallen brothers by wiping out an entire unit of Carabineers while they negotiated the river. After this setback the Tau advance halted and they held their ground on the river banks sending and inordinate amount of fire down on the abbey.

Phase 2:
With the Space Marines sufficiently pinned down, Aun’Kunas gave the order. The Tau had planned ahead for the attack, and gun drones had been planted in the Abbey itself, these machines now leapt to life behind the Space Marine lines. This immediately caused havoc as Captain Marius found himself attacked from behind. As Calgar ordered troops back from the walls to deal with this threat, the Tau prepared their final assault on the now weakly defended walls.


The Gun drones leap to life behind Captain Marius and his Men.

Heavily Outnumbered, attacked from the front and infiltrated from behind, the Ultramarines looked on the verge of being overrun. But Calgar was so not easily beaten; he too had a trick up his sleeve. Voxing up to his flagship high above the planet, Calgar called for rapid reinforcement. A lone Thunder-hawk swooped from the sky Veteran Sergeant Varus and his assault squad leapt from on high and landed behind Tau lines, appearing from nowhere the 5th company’s terminator squad teleported behind the Tau attacking the South gate. Now the attackers had been outflanked.

Phase 3:
Although the Tau advance was halted slightly by the appearance of a new enemy, the Ultramarine deployment had gone horribly wrong. Varus’ Assault squad had landed way off course deep in the woods, and far from the battle. As soon as the Terminators arrived, Shas’O Savon deployed from his manta personally reinforcing the troops at the South Gate. So now the Terminators would have to face the powerful weapons equipped on the Tau XV8 Crisis Battlesuits.


Varus and his Assault squad land way off course.

The Tau continued their advance, but were now looking over their shoulder for the arrival of Varus’ Assault Squad, they remembered bitterly the horrid casualties that unit could inflict on their weaker troops. On the left flank however the attack had stalled entirely the Gun drones were being wiped out without sufficient support. While O’Savon swapped heavy fire with the Terminators behind his lines, both he and his bodyguard took wounds and it looked that they would be overwhelmed by their almost invulnerable foe.
It was O’Savon who called for reinforcements once more on the beleaguered left flank. Descending from the manta arrived Shas’vre Kais’ Crisis team, they too opened fire with powerful melta and plasma weapons helping to bring down more of the Terminators. Although caught in a terrible crossfire, the Terminators bravely charged the Shas’O bringing their mighty power weapons to bear on battlesuit armor.

However the Tau also experienced an unfortunate drop. The Cadre’s stealth Team which has been sent to reinforce the Drones, now landed inside the Abbey’s walls. However they had intended to land in support of the Drones. Instead the landed on the other side of the Abbey, into the chapel of sanctity, right into Marneus Calgar’s command centre. Calgar immediately leapt at the new foe. It was not a fight but a massacre, Calgar waded into the rain of pulse fire that in the last battle had wiped out many brave battle brothers. He resurfaced unscathed and the Gauntlets of Ultramar tasted the blood of the Xeno Tau. Calgar wreaked his terrible wrath on the Xenos. That they stood and fought this hero of the Imperium is a testament to their character and bravery, but nonetheless Calgar cut them down to a man, even the marker drone that had made the drop with them.

Phase 4:
With the Stealth Team slaughtered, Calgar received pleas from the Terminators on the other side of the river. They had been surrounded and would not last long. Calgar fearful for his battle brothers and immediately ordered Marius to sally forth across the river and support the terminator team.


The Terminator squad teleports behind enemy lines, only to be surrounded and cut down.

However it was already too late. The last of the Terminators were cut down by O’Savon and his bodyguard. Under heavy fire, Marius attempted to cross the river, if not just to retrieve the bodies of his men. His command squad suffered under the fire, with TS1 still engaging the Gun Drones behind the lines, Marius had no cover fire. Calgar watched in horror as he saw Marius and his mean struggle through the river. The river, at this point, was deep at this point and the current was strong. Marius was wounded time and time again; unable to cross the river and rescue his brothers he cried in defiance, it was here that Captain Marius fell his entire command squad killed trying to cross the river. Calgar felt keenly his loss, but now that the Tau had dealt with the enemy behind them. The Final assault began.

With Varus’ Assault Squad no-where in sight, Marius dead and tactical squad two almost totally out of action, The ultramarines were even more outnumbered, and outgunned than before their reinforcements had arrived.

Phase 5:
But even as the men began to despair a mighty shape emerged from the woods to the west. A wild cheer went up amongst the ragged defenders as Dreadnought Ancientius Extremetus and Assault Terminator Sargeant Verinus arrived to bolster the defenses.

Ancientius Extremetus opened fire with his lascannon on the advancing Tau; a mighty Broadside took a direct hit, its smoking husk collapsing with a groan into the river. But Extremetus and Verinus were not the only allies to arrive. With a high pitched whine, Varus attacked the Tau rear engaging Tau on the far right flank of the Tau army.


Dreadnought Ancientius Extremetus and Verinus’ Terminator Assault Squad, hasten to the front lines.

The Tau did not give the Marines the chance to regroup however. They attacked immediately hoping to destabilize the Space Marines. With impressive cover fire, Shaper Bob and his warband swept into the breach, yelping happily at the chance to fight at last. With a roar Sergeant Verinus met them bayonet to power claw, and the carnage of the breach began.

At the south gate however, the Tau had amassed 5 battlesuits, armed with the most powerful weapon available to their empire, TS1 stood their ground at the gate, but against such high powered weaponry courage was no match alone. They were totally overrun and killed. Calgar knew the left south wall was lost, with Kroot pouring into the breach, it was only a matter of time before they were overwhelmed. The Crisis suits would outflank the defenders and cut them down with plasma and melta fire. In a great feat of Courage, Marneus Calgar leapt forward to engage 5 Crisis suits on his own. These machines had killed the Terminator squad, cut down Marius and slaughtered the brave men of the 5th Company. Their Chapter Master would have his vengeance.


Verinus moves to meet Shaper Bob in the instances before a bitter clash for the east wall.

All across the walls of the Abbey there was brutal hand to hand combat as the Tau stormed the defenses. At the south wall, Calgar fought Three Battle suits at once. Bleeding from many wounds he soldiered on in desperation to hold off the inevitable. On the Right flank of the Tau army, Sergeant Varus and his assault squad fought desperately to cut their way through the Tau lines and save their beleaguered brothers. At the breach Verinus fought like a tiger, cutting down kroot left and right, but he was being overwhelmed, two of five man squad where already dead, and the ethereal Aun’Kunas had charged in with his bodyguard, he was an incredible warrior spinning his honor-blade in elegant motions, the blade nearly invisible as it cut through Terminator armor.


Varus and battered squad desperately cut down a Tau squad in desperation to reach the abbey before its too late.

It looked like despite all that Calgar had planned for; the 5th Company would be overwhelmed and cut down. At this bitter moment, as it looked like the Tau might gain the breach the remnants of Tactical Squad Two charged into the swirling melee. Their timing was perfect and the Tau were pushed back, Verinus found himself mounting the rubble of breach as the Ethereal called for a retreat. He watched in amazement as the Tau army pulled back across the river, retreating in good form, some units halting to rain fire back on the space marines.


The High-Water mark at the breach

At the South Gate, Calgar sat on the crushed carcasses of two crisis suits. The enemy had suddenly pulled back at the very moment when they might have finished him off. He watched as they jumped back over the river, still red with the blood of Marius and his command squad.

All across the front the Tau pulled back from the walls, bloodied and battered they had decided that to win here would cost them too many good troops. In classic Tau style they pulled back in good order, melting back into the woods. The Ultramarines had held the St. Sebastian Abbey, though it had cost them dear.

Conclusion
The battle around the Abbey of St. Sebastian was a brutal affair, the most slaughtering battle of the campaign on both sides. What made the battle so tragic was that it was completely inconsequential. In fact it is more apt to say that neither side won the battle. If the Tau’s objective was to kill Calgar they failed, despite all they threw at him. Similarly if the Ultramarines objective was to annihilate the Tau army they too failed, the Tau lost barely half their force, indeed the Ultramarines probably received worse casualties.

In conclusion Calgar greatly underestimated the Xenos firepower, their organization, and more worryingly their numbers. The fact that he was saved from disaster was a mere miracle. On the Tau side some of their best forces where thrown away on such a direct assault. Only because of the skill and courage of Shaper Bob did the breach not turn into a complete massacre, bad planning and landings also cost the Tau their gun drones, and the highly proficient stealth team. Also several teams of fire warriors had little effect on the battle as they were badly deployed.

Man of the Match
orgionally we decided that Marneus Calgar won this award, but we decided that he was a special character and was expected to go above and beyond the call of duty.



therefore it was decided Terminator Sargeant Verinus and his Terminator Assault Squad should win the award because they held the Tau back at the breach for two turns, allowing the Space Marines to hold the Abbey and therefore win the game.




Thanks for reading


__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish Ead
Many Bothans died to bring this thread back on topic
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