Archivist: Warzone Damocles

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Calmsword
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Archivist: Warzone Damocles

Post#1 » Oct 26 2015 09:50

New data incoming from Warzone Damocles:

The Campaign for Prefectia/Vas'talos

Here are some choice elements taken from the chapters of the book. I recommend reading them to understand the full campaign.

Opening Moves:

The Tau have breached further into Imperial Space and are reaching the 'Gilded Worlds' of the Dovar system and it's star Dovaris.

Reeling from defeat on Voltoris, Shadowsun directs the attack herself in a masterful expression of Kauyon, obliterating many Space Marine elements along the way.

Prefectia is selected mainly for it's geomagnetic energy which will assist the Empire in it's war to take the Segmentum (at least we know the overall plan now :P)

First Engagement:

Aun'Do's personal shuttle is shot down and he ejects over Prefectia. He survives the attempted capture that follows.

The Jaws Close

The White Scars are lured out and crushed after taking their objectives while the Raven Guard are not the only practitioners of shadow play as Shas'La volunteer to wear Shas'ui colors as snipers come into play. Across the planet, Kauyon is inflicted on the Astartes, utilizing propaganda and mobility to draw Astartes units deeper into the occupied territories of the Shas before curling back and cutting them to pieces.

To Hunt a Nemesis

This is world number 3 for Kor'sarro and Shadowsun and he's back with a vengeance.

The ongoing hunt for Shadowsun and the Water Caste using their propaganda machine to goad the Imperials makes for excellent reading. Its the only part of the book that breaks with the battlereport jargon and actually goes into narrative building. Anyway, that was a tangent, back to just the facts.

Shadowsun uses her two Commanders from T'au and Vior'la to incorporate their own styles into a planet wide Kauyon. While the Space Marines are heck-bent on getting Shadowsun, these two commanders run havoc against the wider Imperial war effort.

The Shadows Cast Long

The 'seed of fear' is planted in Shadowsun as she continually needs to be on the move with Space Marines hounding her every way. Even the Khan has foresworn his duties to Chogoris and declares that the 'witch must die'.

Aun'va declares he will arrive in person as he did on Aggrellan to further the cause. New suits are in route as well as all available Cadres.

The Doom of Heroes

Shadowsun takes out Severax rather uniquely for the 40k universe. She commissions the creation of multiple duplicates of her armor with veteran pilots and lures Severax into combat. When he guts one of these doppelgangers… Shadowsun obliterates him while piloting a Ghostkeel!

This is actually a cool aspect to the shadowplay the book hints at.

She follows up with a withering counter attack, decimating the 3rd Company and moving on to engage the White Scars. In the night, back in her 22, she and her teams kill the White Scar sentries around their camps earning her the name "Void Ghost" by the Astartes.

Withdrawal

Good to see the Imperial Navy is still the reason why the Imperium remains the powerhouse of the Galaxy. With it they withdraw from the planet, impossible to stop.

As the Space Marines withdraw, the Imperial Guard and House Terryn engage with Shadowsun falling back to reconsider the next phase of the war.

It's this victory that (shocker!) Terra finally learns of the ascendant Tau as a threat to be taken seriously and the numbers heading toward Prefectia and the Eastern Fringe are… well, there are a lot.
~Good Hunting

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Calmsword
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Re: Archivist: Warzone Damocles

Post#2 » Oct 26 2015 09:52

Army dispositions and characters:

Imperial Forces:

8 Chapters of Space Marines lead by Chapter master Severax.

Gobs o' Guard (strangely unmentioned)

House Terryn and the High King

The Obsidian Knight

Tau Forces:
Dawnhammer Cadre

Commander Sternshield: shas'o t'au Ta'sar

Commander Swiftflame: Shas’o Vior’la Shalas: Noted as being something of a Farsight in his understanding of tactics but relies on the Ethereal's for guidance where Farsight often ran opposite.

Aun'Tau'Do

Aun'Tau'Shen

Shas'O Tau Shien

Aun'Vior'la Vessol

Tau Vocab
Ta'sar: Sternshield

Shalas: Swiftflame

Ves'oni'vesh: Giantmaker

Vas'talos: boundless scope

Shien: swiftwing

And just something interesting to consider, we have our first Vespid name translations:

"One that Flies Like Flickering Light"
"One that Stings Like the Swarm"
"One that Rips the Flesh"

Tau Tech

Crisis suit armor:
-Beneath the nanocrystaline armor is carbodine which is 'ultra insulating'.

Defense Networks
-Seem to have always been in use and not a new development.

Breachers: A new unit that, while typically shortlived, are highly respected by the Fire Caste hence the new shield technology given to them.
-Pulse Blaster:
Pulse utilizing ion technology. Additionally, it has a 'two trigger' system. Halfway through the pull it 'paints' a target before the second half inflict catastrophic damage. Pretty cool.

Ghostkeel Battlesuits

The pilot is a Stealth Team veteran Shas'vre who is assisted by a complex AI to such degrees that the Shas'vre will sometimes prefer the company of the AI to other Tau (Calmsword: a different type of neurosis perhaps).

Developed on the edges of the N'dras system on the station 'J'ka'vo' and were first used in the assassination of Cardinal Bocsh.

Cyclic Ion Raker
Fires in 'complete silence' and has a mor'tonium core.

Stormsurge class Ballistic Suit

The first of a new class of war asset. The pilots seem to be Tank commanders from the Bork'an Sept academy (unsure if from anywhere else) Ves'oni'vesh: Giantmaker Academy.

Delivered by specifically modified Manta dropships.

Invented by Fio'O Bork'an Ishu'ron.

-Pulse Driver Cannon: By it's description they should have just called it the DUB-CANNON (wawawawa). Invented initially to combat the orks, it's first prototype actually used in the Argap Mountains during the Arkunasha War.
Last edited by Calmsword on Oct 26 2015 10:05, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Archivist: Warzone Damocles

Post#3 » Oct 26 2015 09:57

Locations

Anyone who wants to know more about the Galaxy should get a look at the maps in this book.

Worlds:
Dovaris system
Jodran: A verdant world near Belfurnace

Stellar Phenomen:
Belfurnace: An amber hued body (possibly a nebula or gas cloud)

Shadowsun Disposition (Opinion)

Now, this might just be my opinion but I think Shadowsun might be turning into a much more interesting character. Shes balking under Aun'va's micromanagement (nothing big but little quotes like: 'As if she didnt know'- in regards to Aun'va explaining Kauyon strategy. Voltoris almost killed her and that was a mission Aun'va put together to which she seems a little miffed about.

She's also depicted with lines over her face in some or the art, looking much more venerable and aged.

The mirrordex also gets some mention with Shadowsun using it to, clearly, great success (which she's terrified of being discovered in doing so because of Farsight's censure).

The Bigger Picture: (opinion)

There are several maps that show Shadowsun's push beyond Mu'gulath Bay are bypassing the Farsight Enclaves and into the regions described in pre-Crusade times such as the Dovar system. It's interesting to note as it seems space is indeed big and the Empire might not know exactly where in the Gulf the Enclaves are.

Additionally, the Gulf is described as a nebulous region. As this is a codex, I believe this overrides the 'murky blackness' described in the Star of Damocles series.

'Billions of Firewarriors' follow her as they push into the Imperium (and a hundred billion Tau listen to Aun'va's speech). The Third Sphere is a massive undertaking indeed.

The Imperial 'Titan' has officially woken up. No longer are the Tau just a side-bar threat but have been escalated to true foe status. There's a great bit of old-school fluff describing a data center on Terra that has just, as of this conflict, registered that the threat of 'Tau' has taken an Imperial world.
~Good Hunting

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Vector Strike
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Re: Archivist: Warzone Damocles

Post#4 » Oct 26 2015 10:12

Defense Networks
-Seem to have always been in use and not a new development.


The Centurion way to add fluff!

"These meta-mechs? Have been here 5,000 years ago. What, how could've you missed them? Look at their size!"

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Calmsword
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Re: Archivist: Warzone Damocles

Post#5 » Oct 26 2015 10:13

Unrelated to the book are several fluff bits worthy of note for those, like me, who want to track everything:

The Burning Moon War: Mentioned in describing a Tau'N warrior wearing light grey armor.
Bosrai Clash: N'dras cadres fought here, noted for urban warfare and nightfighting.

Yngirheim: A snow planet fought on by Bork'an Cadres.
Heym's World: Fought on by T'olku Cadres, noted for jungles.
Ko'an: Fought on by members of Fal'shia noted for having arboreal zones.
Vulkard IV: A volcanic world fought on by Elsy'eir Cadres.
Go'shol Patrol: Unknown if this is a planet or a region but it is patrolled by Ksi'm'yen.


The Phoroki: A carnivorous enemy fought by Dal'yth Cadres (must have been recent as they are Breacher teams)
~Good Hunting

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SinisterSamurai
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Re: Archivist: Warzone Damocles

Post#6 » Oct 27 2015 03:42

Burning Dawn (and Shadow Force Solaq) are both also part of the War Zone Damocles series and have the series logo in the corner of the cover. I'm guessing this topic is for the whole series and that the opening posts are for the Kauyon installment. I will now relate to you the tale of War Zone Damocles: Burning Dawn.

The story of Aun'Do and pals is told in greater detail.
I don't have Shadow Force Solaq, but from what I can tell via leaked images and unboxing videos is that the booklets themselves are almost identical in both sets. The first 21 pages contain identical fluff and missions, and moooooostly the same imagery at work with a few factional differences. The next set of pages contain the faction specific units, formations, wargear, and rules.

Ethereal Aun'Do's title is Master of the Gifted Stars, he remains calm and inspiring the whole time.
Infiltration Cadre Burning Dawn consists of
Stealth Team Darktide, lead by Shas'vre Ryaon
Pathfinder Team Aurora, lead by Shas'ui Kalas Starshroud
and the Piranha Tireless Hunter. Piloted by Shas'la Tolas and copiloted by his bond mate Yanto.

Ryaon is the most senior member of the cadre, but cadre command rests with Starshroud in order to let Stealth Team Darktide concentrate on being jet pack ninjas.
Starshroud is a veteran of "dozens of conflicts along the fringes of the Damocles Gulf," including Agrellan and Voltoris. Commander Shadowsun considers Starshroud to be a potential genius, and "sees in the shas'ui the same spark of tactical genius that her master once saw in her." He was wounded Volantis when the Tau were defeated there, and seeks to prove himself now that he's recovered.
Tireless Hunter is also a veteran of a dozen battles, and has lost the other members of it's squadron over time. It has since adapted as a lone hunter, and its pilots have formed a strong bond.

Aun'do has "secrets" to deliver to Shadowsun, and is shot down by Solaq, and an ash storm kicks up to conceal him. Tireless Hunter looks for him, comes across the SM Landspeeder, and they have a short duel in some ruins -> Mission time. While seeking shelter with Aun'Do in tow, Aurora gets ambushed by assault teams hidden in the storm, and call for Darktide backup -> Mission time. Infiltration Cadre burning dawn faces off with Team Solaq as the later decides the time for stealth is over. Aun'Do and Burning Dawn are awaiting Orca dropship rescue -> Mission time. Victory.
Solaq curses, and Shadowsun has Starshroud swear secrecy about the mission, as knowing an Ethereal came close to capture could damage moral. Aun'do tells Shadowsun the secrets, which basically confirms that Perfectia has super secret geothermal funtimes potential.

Edit: Also, at one point the text mentions that the Tireless Hunter "bucked like a caged u'it..." Whatever that is.
Last edited by SinisterSamurai on Oct 27 2015 03:46, edited 2 times in total.

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Lyi'ot
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Re: Archivist: Warzone Damocles

Post#7 » Oct 27 2015 03:46

Thank you for the solid summary, SinisterSamurai. It's pretty cool that the fluff in the companion pamphlets and in the new anthology line up pretty well.

And I'm always glad to see love thrown to our luckless Piranha pilots. :D

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Val'Sitsor
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Re: Archivist: Warzone Damocles

Post#8 » Oct 27 2015 05:25

I finished reading campaign book yesterday and it was a good read, indeed. Muuuuch better than Apocalypse Warzone: Damocles at least. Especially the "Retribution"-part - it was great. There are some parts that were over the top and too much animesque in my opinion: like when Commander Sternshild flew to the Imperial spaceship to listen important briefing in his Coldstar battlesuit, or description of Commander Swiftflame, who is basically young O'Shovah but with some childlike complex (possibly caused by ethereals), but as a whole it was very interesting story.
Among all other moments, it was heavily hinted that Aun'Va wanted Shadowsun to die for the Greater Good (perhaps to make a martyr from her). And Shadowsun refused to do so and interpreted the order in different way. Considering he pretty much orchestrated her "failure" on Voltoris...

But end of the book leaves a big question. After successful conquest of Perfectia shas'ar'tol wisely decided to take a break and consolidate forces of the Fire Caste, but Aun'Va overruled this decision with his hypnotoad-powers, ordered to split forces in two and announced new conquest. Empire was thrown into hysteria by etherial's propaganda and at the same time Imperium Of Mankind ready to strike back with devastating results. There is no way for this to end good for Tau Empire. And now question.
Why Aun'Va made this terrible mistake? He was the one, who first recognize how dangerous Imperium is. He was the one, who change the usual Tau doctrine ("You don't want our friendship? *thousands of Fire Warriors suddenly made planetfall and captured key objects* are you sure?") to the current cautious and diplomatic way. He was the one, who orchestrated Dal'yth Kauyon forcing Imperium to start Crusade before it recognize what the Tau Empire actually is (even Farsight respects him for this)... He supposed to know Imperium better than every other tau. Why he decide to wake up the Titan? Even if Tau Empire survives subsequent carnage (I very doubt that GW decide to destroy tau)... only ruins will remain... so, why?

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Bitterman
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Re: Archivist: Warzone Damocles

Post#9 » Oct 27 2015 05:37

Val'Sitsor wrote:Why Aun'Va made this terrible mistake? [...] only ruin remains... so, why?


Unfortunately, recent portrayals of Aun'va (most notably in the Damocles anthology released a couple of years back) portray him as a colossal idiot. Interfering with the war effort at every turn, overriding orders given by Shadowsun, giving her orders that (if not actively trying to get her killed) put her and her army in unnecessary danger, demanding fealty instead of inspiring devotion, displaying arrogance instead of wisdom...

I can't answer the question "why", except to speculate "because it is necessary for the plot". The ending you describe must be setting up the next book (Imperial backlash? Farsight to come and save the day, perhaps?). Which is not a satisfactory answer, but I fear there may not be a better one.

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Re: Archivist: Warzone Damocles

Post#10 » Oct 27 2015 07:14

Bitterman wrote:
Val'Sitsor wrote:Why Aun'Va made this terrible mistake? [...] only ruin remains... so, why?


Unfortunately, recent portrayals of Aun'va (most notably in the Damocles anthology released a couple of years back) portray him as a colossal idiot. Interfering with the war effort at every turn, overriding orders given by Shadowsun, giving her orders that (if not actively trying to get her killed) put her and her army in unnecessary danger, demanding fealty instead of inspiring devotion, displaying arrogance instead of wisdom...

I can't answer the question "why", except to speculate "because it is necessary for the plot". The ending you describe must be setting up the next book (Imperial backlash? Farsight to come and save the day, perhaps?). Which is not a satisfactory answer, but I fear there may not be a better one.


yeah, I read this anthology (Thank you, Guy Haley, for saving me from brain damage in the process), but if we leave most stupid nonsenses aside (Riptides kneeling in the middle of the battle... :::( khm, nevermind), I got an impression, that Aun'Va tried to do so on purpose (not Riptides, but Voltoris). At least Kelly tried to portrayed him this way. Aun'va already knew, that Shadowsun will be defeated on Voltoris when send her there. New campaign book actually confirms this, when describes Shadowsun mental condition after Voltoris. Aun'Va want her to burn out spectacular and with maximum effect to his plans. And Perfectia supposed to be a culmination for Shadowsun. He is definitely not good, but has his own agenda.

And as for the question I came to the same answer. End of this campaign book strongly resonates with Fehervari new story and Farsight intervention almost inevitable at this point. But without proper reason for this outcome the story itself is not complete. May be we found out during Farsight and Aun'Va final confrontation? But hope is the first step...

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Re: Archivist: Warzone Damocles

Post#11 » Oct 27 2015 10:55

Why you do dis Aun'Va?

I want to like Aun'va. Seriously, I do. I think he's Space Bismarck -- he effectively unified a confederation of planets into one interstellar empire. But damn if, at every turn, he's not a colossal idiot. As Bitterman points out, his incompetence is so profound, so devastating, that it borders on the malicious. Why would he even want Shadowsun to die? What is wrong with him? It's aun like him that give the ethereal caste a bad name.

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Re: Archivist: Warzone Damocles

Post#12 » Oct 27 2015 02:08

He is a colossal idiot to a fault.

Even having twin Riptides bowing to him in the midst of a full on battle... how does that serve the Greater Good exactly?

The only plot element I think that might work is that Shadowsun stops taking him so literally and does her own thing while accomplishing his orders (which she seems to have a negative opinion of in light of her near assassination)
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Re: Archivist: Warzone Damocles

Post#13 » Oct 28 2015 09:31

The Imperium of humanity can not fight in the Tau Empire, can send the Marines to punishment and other operations to slow the advance or, if the operation commenting on Prefectia's like they say have lost too many troops, too marines, if they can make a counter containment, reinforce the worlds beyond this expansion, but can not fathom, when the imperial command detects new things of tau re-evaluated the situation, think that all this is going on between the whole issue of Leviathan the growing rise of the Necrons and the entire war in segmentum obscurus has absorbed a lot of resources in troops and equipment, Self Korsarro this breach to defend Chogoris Tyrant Badab for being here.


What makes my mind Aun'va is to expand the maximum possible territory while the empire can not be accommodated, the more expand more troops come from territory Taus Sept oldest, more resources, more weapons tested, get more allies, more minor races that adding the rule to add them to the war effort Tau

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SinisterSamurai
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Re: Archivist: Warzone Damocles

Post#14 » Oct 30 2015 06:28

'Sternshield’s team leaders suspected some new technology, but the Commander believed it to be something worse. This was likely the ghu’lach ‘mind science’ encountered on Voltoris, much feared and little understood."

Ghu'lach - Mind Science
ie, psychics.

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Re: Archivist: Warzone Damocles

Post#15 » Oct 30 2015 07:27

SinisterSamurai wrote:'Sternshield’s team leaders suspected some new technology, but the Commander believed it to be something worse. This was likely the ghu’lach ‘mind science’ encountered on Voltoris, much feared and little understood."

Ghu'lach - Mind Science
ie, psychics.


From the quote, it's not actually clear whether that's a translation. Imagine if it said, "the Eldar 'mind science'" - the sentence would still parse, wouldn't it? So ghu'lach could actually refer to a race or group or thing that has 'mind science'...

If it said "ghu'lach, or 'mind science'", that would clearly be a translation. From what's written there, I'm not so sure?

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Re: Archivist: Warzone Damocles

Post#16 » Oct 30 2015 07:35

Bitterman wrote:From the quote, it's not actually clear whether that's a translation. Imagine if it said, "the Eldar 'mind science'" - the sentence would still parse, wouldn't it? So ghu'lach could actually refer to a race or group or thing that has 'mind science'...

If it said "ghu'lach, or 'mind science'", that would clearly be a translation. From what's written there, I'm not so sure?
While I understand completely where you're coming from and desperately want you to be right, this is a common trope in BL writing the tau: use a xenos word, then immediately translate it, regardless of context or listener. :sad:

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Re: Archivist: Warzone Damocles

Post#17 » Oct 30 2015 08:53

Another issue that may be considered minor but since I do not mean that the tau fleets come much further than we thought, in a passage of Damocles Warzone: Kauyon referred a Tau commander had gained much experience dealing with very experienced races C & C because he had fought as Orks and Barghesthi should know Barghesthi in the Grendel Cluster are beyond the Coreward March and Wendigo Gulf.

This would mean that the Tau fleets are exploring and perhaps creating small Sept beyond the borders of the empire as was done in Velkhan Sept.

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Re: Archivist: Warzone Damocles

Post#18 » Oct 30 2015 10:16

Lyi'ot wrote:
Bitterman wrote:From the quote, it's not actually clear whether that's a translation. Imagine if it said, "the Eldar 'mind science'" - the sentence would still parse, wouldn't it? So ghu'lach could actually refer to a race or group or thing that has 'mind science'...

If it said "ghu'lach, or 'mind science'", that would clearly be a translation. From what's written there, I'm not so sure?
While I understand completely where you're coming from and desperately want you to be right, this is a common trope in BL writing the tau: use a xenos word, then immediately translate it, regardless of context or listener. :sad:


In addition several of the authors also take some loose liberties with the tau language and in part that is what makes the passage confusing, because it could very well be the author's attempt at a race or species that uses mind science. it is really unfortunate.

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