The Mirror Blade Cadres (M.A.R.S. Pattern)

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J'Kaara Nan
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The Mirror Blade Cadres (M.A.R.S. Pattern)

Post#1 » Jan 09 2018 10:08

Regardless of whether there are many games in my future, I have decided to commit to continue the modelling and lore building sides of my beloved Tau, because it is just too enjoyable. That said, this log will contain the history of my cadre, any fiction pertaining to it, modelling logs and pictures, etc etc. Welcome to the one stop shop for everything about the M.A.R.S. Pattern Cadre!

The History of the Mirror Blade Cadres

This tale begins with the Commander J’theto, a special forces operator and tactical ambassador of the Enclaves working several significant steps outside Enclave borders. Commanding a single Lar’Shi vessel and only a few highly specialized cadres, J’thetos mission was to initiate contact with and then create trade pacts with less zealous human worlds. In addition to this mission, they would also act to eliminate hostile governing bodies in preparation for eventual conquest. To accomplish this mission, J’Kaara Nan commanded three M.A.R.S. Pattern cadres (Mobile Armored Response and Support), adherents to the Way of the Short Blade.

Betrayed during a clandestine negotiation with the planetary governor of Joctun V, J’Kaara Nan was ambushed while his warship was engaged in orbit and subsequently destroyed several days later. Three Mantas and two battle-suit cadres were planet side during this event, and two of these Mantas were destroyed while fleeing, and the other downed four days later, crashing relatively intact. An entire M.A.R.S. cadre was destroyed on the Lar’Shi, minus thirteen battle-suits acting as deep infiltrators at the time, while the two other cadres each suffered multiple casualties in the ambush.

Suddenly cut off from the entirety of the Tau far beyond even the fringes, J’Kaara Nan and his remaining battle-suits were immediately pursued by local PDF. All that remained were 179 XV units, including six surviving experimental XV109 Y’vahra battle-suits, four hundred drones and 60 XV11 battle-frames, Enclave developed combat flight suits meant to replace Vespid and Pathfinders. In their initial rage against the lost lives of their close comrades, and many atrocities followed. Many of the remaining battle suit teams turned their plasma flamers and fusion weapons toward any civilians in their path as they fled their human pursuers. This behavior continued for some time even after they regrouped and stopped fleeing.

Already masters of infiltration and guerrilla and terror warfare, the remaining Tau forces finally entrenched in an abandoned mining facility at the foot of a mountain valley. Its high elevation and location shielded it from most bombardment, and came with modest industrial facilities and plenty of reinforced tunnels to provide shelter and security. From here they began launching devastating hit and run torch-fire raids against any targets within a short range, while others launched under cover of night to fight a retreating vanguard against the approaching human PDF. This fighting action stalled the encroaching enemy by infiltrating and burning sleeping imperial guardsmen and targeting fuel depots. Though exploding gas tanks and the screams of men waking up on fire pierced each night, it could not stop its advance, and the two forces engaged in battle just before dawn only four days after they had arrived at the mining facility.

J’theto gained the moniker of the Mirror Blade in this battle, becoming known henceforth as Shas’O J’Kaara Nan. Literally splitting his forces in two, nearly a hundred XV units slammed into the approaching PDFs center line, ignoring segments of the army too far away to react to the confusion. Then, minutes later just as the sun crested the horizon, the entire remaining Tau force came hammering behind them, and within half an hour the human armies command structure destroyed and significant casualties had been sustained. By the time either side of the split PDF forces could react, every surviving Tau had retreated to the mine for resupplying, and their foes were presented with three poor choices. They could regroup and try to attack again, shore their defenses and wait, or attempt to slowly flee with the Tau at their rear.

The PDF did none of these things, and instead began to scatter with the wind, attempting to escape the battlefield altogether. Rather than pursuing, J’Kaara Nan ordered his warriors to allow them to escape. While the cadres did continue to initiate hostile encounters as they expanded their controlled territory, from that point on they refused to engage in slaughter and always allowed their enemies to surrender or flee. Over the course of several months, the Mirror Blade Cadres, as they came to be called, engaged several more times in battle with certain loyalist factions, including a single Cerastus Knight and their attendant house, resulting eventually in its destruction. Much of their operations eventually shifted to prefer infiltration and observation over outright hostility, meant to expand their soft influence and presence, and these actions were intended to decrease their position as immediate threats.

During their observations and intelligence gatherings, scouts eventually learned of a land bound Imperial Transport, large enough to transport an entire Enclave worlds garrison, and made plans to capture it and use it to return to Enclave space, slightly less empty handed. Further investigation revealed that while the drives were indeed in working order, its hull had been damaged during the space battle against the Lar’Shi, and repairs had been requested from Mars. With it would surely be Space Marine forces in attendance, as both escort and armed response to the Xenos presence. It was immediately decided that the ship would need to be claimed and repaired as best as possible before that time.

J’Kaara Nan chose again to take what was needed, and in another hammer to anvil blow, struck first the local PDF garrison while half his forces captured and secured the planetary spaceport at which the transport was being repaired. Luck was not on his side, however, as hours earlier the Adeptus Mechanicus had indeed arrived with aid, and with them came a chapter of Space Marines, the Iron Lance Chapter. Before the Tau could react, drop pods were punching through the atmosphere and landing all around the spaceport. Within minutes of securing the location from the local PDF, the Mirror Blade cadres found themselves fighting a pitched, desperate battle against the space marines. As Imperial Guard transports began surrounding the battle, the sky turned dark with dust, smoke and fire, and this battle would eventually be called the Firestorm over Joctun.

While the Mirror Blades were able to eventually cut through the Imperial encirclement and escape, they were forced to abandon their mission and again found themselves stranded. Hounded by the power armor clad warriors of the Iron Lance, the Mirror Blade and the Tau looking to him for guidance were forced to constantly flee. While this way of life has made them true masters of guerilla warfighting, attrition will eventually grind them to dust. Their only hope is that word of their plight has somehow reached the Enclaves and inspired a rescue mission…
Enclave of the 7 Swords: 12-5-2

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J'Kaara Nan
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M.A.R.S. Pattern Cadre Composition

Post#2 » Jan 10 2018 10:49

The M.A.R.S. Pattern Cadre



The Mobile Armored Response and Support Pattern Cadre was originally developed as stop-gap measure for the Enclaves in response to falling manpower in standard cadres, specifically special operations units. Often deployed beyond traditional borders, the ability to reinforce these cadres is often non-existent. Over time less and less traditional cadres were utilized, in favor of pathfinder and stealth suit heavy infiltration units in roles favoring subversion over outright conflict. As a result, while being more efficient in many ways and reducing loss, their ability to engage in conflict outright had been much reduced.

To rectify this, the M.A.R.S. Pattern was developed. An Enclave Vanguard Fleet consists of four to six stealth modified Kir'Qath class vessels, each operating independently in the targeted region, and a single Lar'Shi class vessel which carries the M.A.R.S. Pattern Cadres and acts as the command vessel for the entire force. These Vanguard Fleets work to use subversion, infiltration and diplomacy to sway, or take, human worlds from Imperium of Man. While each independent vessel can easily contact the Lar'Shi, their own stealth modifications and hidden locations make it nearly impossible for it to contact them, and so instead they update the command vessel every few cycles. The Lar'Shi itself typically chooses a target planet most likely open to alien alliance, allowing them to establish at least a small safe haven and beachhead if needed.

The M.A.R.S. Pattern Cadre are strict adherents to O'Shovahs Way of the Short Blade, and also prefer to wield terror warfare over standard operations, striking from the shadows with unrelenting force before suddenly vanishing from the battlefield. Trained to be masters of guerrilla and hit and run fighting styles, these cadres prefer plasma-flamers and fusion blasters over any other form of weaponry. To this end, as many XV109 Y'vahra battlesuits as possible are requested from Empire Tau benefactors and shadow brokers, and each is treated like a holy relic by these cadres. When one is downed in the field, extensive operations will often be undertaken to reclaim it so it may be repaired.


Cadre Composition


M.A.R.S Pattern Cadres consist of 80 XV8 battlesuits, 16 XV25 Battlesuits, and 0-4 Experimental Riptide Chassis. In support there are typically 200 Tactical Drones, 60-80 XV11 Battleframes and a handful of Specialist Shortblades. M.A.R.S Pattern Cadres only deploy in threes, and rather than a disjointed command structure, an inner circle of nine commanders manage and mentor each Cadre, deploying as needed to support and relay command, while reporting to a single supreme commander. Due to the nature of their mission and need for infiltration and autonomy, no single commander needs permission from the supreme commander, and every Tau of the rank Shas'Ui can make their own operating decisions, as long as they fall within their broad mission parameters.

Cadres themselves rarely operate as a whole, preferring to break down into multiple units and operating over a wide range as entrenched operators. These units only return to coherency when a planet needs to be forcefully seized, an emergency dictates it, or in rescue operations.

Standard Unit Composition and Tactics

2500 Point List


*1800 to 2500 points has always been the standard points level where I have played, and thus most of my lists are built for 2500 with a 2000 point alternate list if that becomes too high*


M.A.R.S. Cadre X4 Unit 1 "The Wild Hunt"

HQ Section:
Commander in XV86 Coldstar: Advanced Targeting System/ Drone Controller
Commander: 4x Fusion Blaster w/ 2x MV4 Shield Drones
Commander: 4x Fusion Blaster w/ 2x MV4 Shield Drones
Commander: 4x Fusion Blaster w/ 2x MV4 Shield Drones

Elite Section:
XV25 Stealth Team: Homing Beacon, 2x ATS Shas'Ui, 1x Stealth Shas'vre w/ Markerlight + Target Lock, DC, 2x Shield Drones
XV25 Stealth Team: Homing Beacon, 2x ATS Shas'Ui, 1x Stealth Shas'vre w/ Markerlight + Target Lock, DC, 2x Shield Drones
XV8 Team: 3x XV8 w/ 3x Flamer, 1x Shas'Ui w/ 2x Plasma Rifle + ATS, 8x MV1 Gun Drones
XV8 Team: 3x XV8 w/ 3x Flamer, 1x Shas'Ui w/ 2x Plasma Rifle + ATS, 8x MV1 Gun Drones

Fast Attack Section:
Tactical Drones: 11x MV1 Gun Drones, 1x MV4 Shield Drones
Tactical Drones: 11x MV1 Gun Drones, 1x MV4 Shield Drones
Tactical Drones: 11x MV1 Gun Drones, 1x MV4 Shield Drones
Tactical Drones: 12x MV7 Marker Drones
XV109 Y'vahra Battlesuit: Advanced Targeting System, Drone Controller


The strategy of this list is to leverage the potency of Alpha Strikes, by intentionally performing multiple minor Alpha Strikes rather than a single huge Alpha Strike.

Deployment consists of the Coldstar Battlesuit, Y'vahra Battlesuit, both Stealth Teams and the all of the independent Tactical Drone units. All three fusion commanders and both XV8 teams remain in Manta Strike.

The Coldstar commander will deploy just behind the Y'vahra, which should literally deploy as far forward midfield as possible, close to whichever target you would most like to hit hard. Behind these two should be all three Gun Drone Squadrons and behind them, the marker drone team. Finally, while each Stealth Team should deploy at its discretion, typically it should be on either side of the board, infiltrating 13" from an exposed infantry unit or other target.

There are only three elements to this army despite all the units. The Stealth Teams and XV8 teams form one element, the fusion commanders form another element and finally, the Coldstar, Y'vahra and all of the Tactical Drone teams.

Element One: Each of the Stealth Teams is essentially a delivery system for the Crisis Teams, combining the 12" infiltration/ 8" movement + advance move and homing beacon to ensure a first turn Manta Strike. While indeed this could be used to nuke two separate backfield units, there is nothing to keep from doubling down against big targets. Rather than bare bone stealth teams for this purpose, they come equipped with enough goodies to allow them to be of some value before and after they deliver their payload.

Element Two: The Fusion Commanders. Let's be honest, these are just expensive Monats from the days of old, but boy are they sweet. Still, three seems almost spammy, and I refuse to field 6 commanders like some lists when I'm only running 6 standard XV8s. Back on topic, the most effective way I have found to use these is once the enemy has become tied up with other elements of the army. Still, this is not to say that dropping one or two when needed is out of the question. In these cases, apply them like butter anywhere you need a pair of backfield Predators popped, a lascannon spam Devastator squad erased, or a Terminator carrying Land Raider that needs to stay there and not farther up the field. While powerful and currently necessary without a Codex and reliable heavy support options, these are the laziest and most boring part of every Tau list I see. For a supposed command unit, these are tactically inflexible units with very little "command" to them. They are nukes, and often suicidal nukes, which is not how I usually envision a high commander

Element Three: The Y'vahra. This has been my favorite Tau unit for a long time now, and currently I believe it is the most aggressive and punchy unity we can access. Most battle report videos I watch and online lists seem to knock Riptides and their kin as not useful anymore due to multi-damage, but this is easily solved by large drone escorts. Either way, limit the Y'vahras movement to keep in range of the drones until ready to deliver the killing blow, and they can catch up when they can. The XV109 should obviously engage the highest profile units in your enemies army, with the drones and Coldstar doing what they can to support and enhance. A note on the Coldstar is that he exists as a rapid response unit for your whole army, though I also support taking a quad Missile Pod commander instead. I take the Coldstar for mostly fluff reasons.


This army should be able to deliver multiple high damage mini Alpha Strikes, as well as providing enough resilience, marker support and agility to counter most armies. Against Marine armies I tend to swap a single flamer for an ATS. I have yet to have the Y'vahra encounter real issues, due to the pool of 48 ablative wounds following him around.

"Divide them, Terrify them, Overwhelm them" - M.A.R.S. Pattern battle canto
Enclave of the 7 Swords: 12-5-2

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Arka0415
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Re: M.A.R.S. Pattern Cadre Composition

Post#3 » Jan 10 2018 11:45

The lore for your army is great, and the list itself definitely has a solid theme. The Y'vahra will do well with its drone escort, and three Fusion Commanders should be able to finish off any armored units you'll encounter.

I do have a few suggestions, while keeping with the spirit of the MARS Pattern Cadre of course!

The two main things I'd do here would be change some of the Support Systems and split down the Tactical Drone teams. First, about wargear, if you're using the Coldstar as Drone Controller support, I don't really see the need for the additional Drone Controller on the Y'vahra. Also, ATS doesn't work very well with the Plasma Rifle, since for just three more points you could buy another Plasma Rifle, which would do much more damage. Or you could put a Drone Controller on those squads, to make them more independent. Second, I'd definitely split each Tactical Drone team down into two units, you might even consider using six or eight identical drone units. Also, you could run 3x3 XV8s instead of 2x4, which could offer more versatility.

Finally, the main issue I'm seeing is about the Y'vahra itself and the drone swarm- seeing as the Y'vahra moves 18" and the drones only move 8", they will get left behind by the Y'vahra on turn 1. With this in mind, I would deploy as many drones as possibly via Manta Strike, attached to XV8s. You could start the Y'vahra castled up with Shield/Marker Drone teams around it, then have four teams of XV8s deliver 24 Gun Drones to guard it at the end of your first movement phase.

What do you think?

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J'Kaara Nan
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Re: The Mirror Blade Cadres (M.A.R.S. Pattern)

Post#4 » Jan 12 2018 01:23

Thanks for the response.

The drone controllers on the Y'vahra and Coldstar are just meant to make sure that if the Coldstar leaves the group to go elsewhere, all the Y'vahras drones continue to get their bonus. I find this useful because at times, I might deploy the Coldstar elsewhere, or boost him across the field to assist units manta striking. Often times the Y'vahra and the drones are all by their lonesome.

As for the dual plasma rifle + ATS, I will have to try that out for sure. The idea was to use the flamers to cut through most of the squad, so that the plasma could fire at the end and mop up any remaining units with ease. Having more shots however could indeed be more efficient.

I also agree for the most part on splitting down the drone teams, as after looking at how devastating morale can be, it might be a more resilient to have 6 smaller teams than 3 large teams. Can someone confirm for me whether or not drones take morale tests due to Savior Protocols?

As for the Drones being left behind, I haven't yet run into an issue with them. They can always advance, and so all I do is match the Y'vahra speed to theirs by moving them first, and keeping it within range of their drone escort. Their main purpose after all is to keep it wound free until it can get in range, and I'll sacrifice a turn of it shooting if need be.
Enclave of the 7 Swords: 12-5-2

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Arka0415
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Re: The Mirror Blade Cadres (M.A.R.S. Pattern)

Post#5 » Jan 12 2018 04:04

J'Kaara Nan wrote:The drone controllers on the Y'vahra and Coldstar are just meant to make sure that if the Coldstar leaves the group to go elsewhere, all the Y'vahras drones continue to get their bonus. I find this useful because at times, I might deploy the Coldstar elsewhere, or boost him across the field to assist units manta striking. Often times the Y'vahra and the drones are all by their lonesome.

I can see your reasoning here. The ATS upgrade on the Y'vahra is a phenomenal advantage though, with the IDC you're looking at S10/AP-4, which is enough to completely ignore the armor saves on most vehicles. At least to me, putting a Drone Controller on a Y'vahra seems like a waste of such a valuable support slot.

J'Kaara Nan wrote:As for the dual plasma rifle + ATS, I will have to try that out for sure. The idea was to use the flamers to cut through most of the squad, so that the plasma could fire at the end and mop up any remaining units with ease. Having more shots however could indeed be more efficient.

Feel free to try it out, but when you're mainly shooting infantry with D1 weapons more shots is very helpful, especially when a 3rd PR is a 50% increase in shot output. 3xPR will output 25% more damage on MEQ targets compared to 2xPR+ATS, and 2xPR+ATS is no advantage at all against Sv4+ units.

J'Kaara Nan wrote:I also agree for the most part on splitting down the drone teams, as after looking at how devastating morale can be, it might be a more resilient to have 6 smaller teams than 3 large teams. Can someone confirm for me whether or not drones take morale tests due to Savior Protocols?

Morale is no issue at all with small squads, but it's huge on large ones. If you lose half the squad you're at risk of losing the other half. And Savior Protocols does trigger morale tests!

J'Kaara Nan wrote:As for the Drones being left behind, I haven't yet run into an issue with them. They can always advance, and so all I do is match the Y'vahra speed to theirs by moving them first, and keeping it within range of their drone escort. Their main purpose after all is to keep it wound free until it can get in range, and I'll sacrifice a turn of it shooting if need be.

Don't sacrifice a turn of shooting with our most powerful weapon. The Y'vahra can move 18" and destroy a Land Raider with a single turn of shooting. Use that. That's my recommendation.

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J'Kaara Nan
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Re: The Mirror Blade Cadres (M.A.R.S. Pattern)

Post#6 » Jan 12 2018 04:37

What would you suggest as the second support system on the Riptide?

I'll modify the list and see if I can streamline it some more to accommodate your suggestions.

My next update should hopefully have some pictures of my upscale battlesuit models!
Enclave of the 7 Swords: 12-5-2

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Arka0415
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Re: The Mirror Blade Cadres (M.A.R.S. Pattern)

Post#7 » Jan 12 2018 05:35

J'Kaara Nan wrote:What would you suggest as the second support system on the Riptide?

For the Y'vahra I'd suggest picking two out of these three: Target Lock, ATS, Stimulant Injector. The Target Lock is basically a must, ATS is good against tougher armies (AP-2 to AP-3 is great), and Stimulant Injector is useful due to the Y'vahra's high wound count.

J'Kaara Nan wrote:I'll modify the list and see if I can streamline it some more to accommodate your suggestions.

I guess my suggestion would just be to use a two-stage drone solution, dedicated alpha strike tank units that deploy with the Y'vahra then some deep strike support. Here's an idea- it should make sense as to what doe what:

-

HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blasters; 2x Shield Drones (176)
HQ - Coldstar Commander w/ High-Output Burst Cannon, Missile Pod, Shield Generator, ATS (150)
Elites - 3x Stealthsuits w/ 3x Burst Cannons, Homing Beacon, Drone Controller; 2x Shield Drones (131)
Elites - 3x Stealthsuits w/ 3x Burst Cannons, Homing Beacon, Drone Controller; 2x Shield Drones (131)
Elites - 3x XV8 w/ 9x Flamer; 6x Gun Drone (255)
Elites - 3x XV8 w/ 6x Cyclic Ion Blaster, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drone (306)
Elites - 3x XV8 w/ 6x Cyclic Ion Blaster, 3x ATS; 6x Gun Drone (306)
Fast Attack - 5x Pathfinders w/ 5x Markerlights (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Pathfinders w/ 5x Markerlights (40)
Fast Attack - 5x Pathfinders w/ 5x Markerlights (40)
Fast Attack - Y'vahra w/ Ionic Discharge Cannon, Phased Plasma Flamer, Target Lock, ATS (415)
Fast Attack - 4x Shield Drones (32)
Fast Attack - 4x Shield Drones (32)
Fast Attack - 6x Gun Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 6x Gun Drones (48)

Total: 2502 - Command Points: 6 (1 Vanguard Detachment, 2 Outrider Detachments)

-

If you want to use Marker Drones instead of Pathfinders that could work too, this is completely a rough draft. I figure 20 drones should be enough to keep the Y'vahra alive on turn one, then 18 more drones as a "refill" plus massive firepower from the battlesuits should be even more fun. If you like 3xPR instead of 2xCIB+ATS feel free to switch them out and spend the 78 points you'd free up on just more drones.

What do you think?

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J'Kaara Nan
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Re: The Mirror Blade Cadres (M.A.R.S. Pattern)

Post#8 » Jan 13 2018 05:22

*Sorry for the short post, did some late night scribbling and wanted to get it posted. Will finish tomorrow.*

Night One
0027 a.m. Imperial Standard
“…and we came unprepared. A hundred thousand men pursuing half a thousand Xenos. We had already struck the killing blow, and now relentlessly hunted a dying animal. The path of horror they blazed through villages and farms is how we tracked them. To say morale was low when they found us would be an understatement, and after that fear is what killed us. Flames that burn like plasma and brilliant white reached out through the night, and only time could quench us. I fear them in both my waking moments and those asleep, and I swear, my love, I know I shall never see you again. Goodbye…”
-Recovered Com Entry from Joctun Planetary Defense Force Massacre site


they say their blood glows in he dark.”
I hear ‘ey got a slit right ther’, where you got you nose, son.”
if they was still wa…” SMACK.

The commissars hand was already raised and ready to strike again, and each of the privates around the fire became suddenly silent. Johnson held his hand to his face, having yet to have seen his attacker and began to furiously cuss, and the air whistled again. SMACK. Fear filled the air.

the Xenos is darkness, and if you must discuss it, discuss how it might be killed. You will hate it, as the private here hates me. Our Immortal God-Emperor would never find humor in their existence, and neither shall you.”

A few moments passed, and the grim silence continued as the commissar paced away, occasional pops of the fire punctuated the void. Johnson finally spit out his mouthful of blood and cussed again loudly, and suddenly the night filled with laughter again.

Johnson, what was you saying again?”

Daylight came too soon once more, and the morning air rumbled constant and low with the treads of Chimera transports and the mighty Leman Russ, traveling south. The members of the Joctun V Planetary Defense Force shuffled in their wakes of dust, breakfast a full two hours away. Soon the smell of food reached their ranks, and trees to either side fanned the smell and a light smoke between them. The Chimera ahead of Squad Four-Bravo ground to a slow halt, and its commander rose out of its hatch, fist raised to his back. A few minutes passed, and suddenly it lurched forward again, and Four-Bravo sped close behind. A quarter mile ahead the trees opened, and smoke drifted thickly into the sky from a village of perhaps 40. A fuel depot at its center had been sheared in half, and little fires still smoldered from nearly every building northwest of the tree line. Several Chimeras rolled between the flames, squads off-loading in search of survivors. Few were found.
what in the name of the Emperor. Was this…?”

did they go out of their way to come here? Their trail was supposed to be due north-west.”

Night came too soon, the air cold and silent as death.

Night Two
0133 Imperial Standard Time

A muffled thump woke Private Jeric, bolting upright in his bunk in a sweat. What sounded like a scream sang out of the distance, and he could make out the chatter of comms and frantic voices. Another thump clapped out of the night, and following it came the sharp cry of fire and the roar that followed it. In moments their entire bunkhouse was in action and soon emerged into the night, fire licking out from behind the trees surrounding them. CLANK CLANK CLANK.

A trio of Sentinel walkers came striding from behind, speeding towards the source of the explosions before becoming silhouettes in the tree line. A blue-red torrent of flame poured out to meet them, engulfing their armor in wet flame, and then came a brilliant white-blue beam of fusion, punching a hole explosively through the center walker. The left most Sentinel collapsed as one of its leg joints melted through, and out of the shadows came an angular, massive battle frame, slamming into it and knocking it to the ground. Righting itself almost instantly, it placed a foot on the crashed walker, stared down, and fired its fusion rifle.

Squad Four-Bravo brought their lasguns in unison, held for a moment, and fired as one. Bolts of las-fire bounced off the Tau battlesuit, darting harmlessly into the night. Turning only its head, a single arm raised one of its barreled weapons as a blue jet of flame bursting forth in a torrent of plasma-fire. Four-Bravo ducked behind cover as if in unison, and the roar of a jet thruster erupted and faded into the distance. When they finally moved from cover, the massive battlesuit had disappeared, and the sounds of battle had fled with it.

Few found sleep again that night…

To Be Continued…
Enclave of the 7 Swords: 12-5-2

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