The Cytherian Annexation

In the Tau Empire’s Third Sphere Expansion, an expeditionary force was assembled and dispatched from the Bark’an Sept, tasked with the annexation and colonization of the world Cytheria. Expecting stiff resistance, the force was amply supplied for a hard-fought and taxing campaign.

An outlying Imperial world, Cytheria’s rugged dry plains were interspersed by dense alien jungle. Although sparsely populated, the planet was home to a valuable Adeptus Mechanicus research facility. As a result, Cytheria’s defenses were reinforced by seven regiments of the Catachan Imperial Guard; three standard infantry, two veteran light infantry, and two armored.

Crisis battlesuit 01 Crisis battlesuit 02
‘Brightwind’ configuration
ZV8 Crisis Battlesuit
Desert pattern camouflage

The ‘Brightwind’ configuration was used extensively by the first wave assault cadres. The battlesuit’s maneuverability, speed and weapons fit outmatched even the ace Sentinel squadrons of the Catachan XXVI.
‘Fireknife’ configuration
XV8 Crisis Battlesuit
Modified desert pattern camouflage

The ‘Fire Knife’ configuration was utilized by Crisis teams in support of the Armour Elimination Groups. Though successful, the Crisis teams sustained high casualties in these crucial battles.
Stealth suit 01 Hammerheads 02 Hammerhead vehicle markings 01
XV25 Stealth Battlesuit
Passive mode

Armor surface is matte black in passive mode, and adopts chameleonic pattern in active mode. Sept colors and other markings are only visible in passive mode.
Armour Elimination Group K22
28 confirmed armor kills
Each Hammerhead in the group bears the symbol of the Bor’kan Sept. Each bears the text that reads ‘For the Greater Good’, a common slogan on Tau vehicles.

The Tau’s landing sites were cleared by Stealth Teams and spearheaded by Battlesuits. Despite initial success, the operation took heavy casualties. Phase two was the eradication of enemy armour, which was highlighted by the destruction of the entire Catachan 97th Armoured Regiment by Tau Hammerhead ‘Elimination Groups’ on the third day of the invasion. As the Tau gained the upper hand, the Catachans withdrew to the jungles for a protracted guerrilla war. In the third phase of the campaign the Fire Warriors quickly found themselves outclassed in the dense terrain. Sensing a loss of momentum, Tau Ethereals redirected the attack to the Herzen Ridge research and communications zone, ultimately forcing the Catachans to give battle.

Tau Forces on Cytheira
Fire warrior 01 Fire warrior 02
Bork’kan Fire Warrior
Planetary Assault Cadre
Desert camouflage

Fire Warriors fighting in the plains bore standard desert camouflage and carried the long ranged pulse rifle in preference to the pulse carbine.
Bor’kan Fire Warrior
Upland Jungle Suppression Cadre
Specialized camouflage

Teams fighting in the upland jungles utilized a red camouflage scheme appropriate to the alien flora and carried pulse carbines.
Fire warrior 03 Fire warrior 04
Fal’shia Fire Warrior
Strategic Reserve Cadre
Desert camouflage

The Fal’shia Sept provided a number of cadres to the expedition, all of which saw action in the fighting to secure the primary landing zones.
Bor’kan Pathfinder
Preliminary Observation Cadre
Desert camouflage

Pathfinder teams were inserted up to five months prior to the invasion, reconnoitring over 300 potential landing zones.

The Herzen Ridge battles broke the last organized Imperial defense and afterwards Cytheria became largely pacified. Transport of materials and personnel for colonization is now well underway, and on schedule for the expansion of the Empire.

Scattered remnants of the Catachan forces still mount sporadic guerrilla attacks on vulnerable targets, in the hope of eventual reinforcements. However, regular hunter patrols scour the jungles for those misguided humans who stubbornly resist the Greater Good.

Imperium Forces on Cytheria
Catachan lurking cobras Catachan black vipers Catachan sidewinders
Jungle Fighter
Catachan XXVI ‘Lurking Cobras’

This trooper wears the standard issue Catachan battledress. The Lurking Cobras who held the line long enough for the bulk of the Catachans to redeploy into the jungle following the collapse on the plains.
Jungle Fighter
Catachan LI ‘Black Vipers’

This regiment’s snipers took a fearsome toll on the Tau of the first assault wave. Although not confirmed, it is claimed one sniper killed a Tau Ethereal.
Jungle Fighter
Catachan LVI ‘Sidewinders’

The Sidewinders were successful at holding up superior numbers and firepower for several weeks. The entire regiment was issued rebreathers as the deep jungles periodically erupted in poisonous sporepod blooms.

Background works in progress

General Background Information Imperial Background Tau Background
Cytheria Imperial Forces Tau Forces
Cytheria Planetary Survey Catachan Forces
Part 1.0: The Escape from Herzen Ridge
Part 1.1: Commissar Garr’s Last Stand

The Cytherian Annexation

BlueRonin Marw