The Cytherian Annexation
- Imperial Forces on Cytheria might possibly include PDF (Conscripts) Adeptus Mechanicus (Veteran Squads) forces, as well as the feasibility of a small detachment of Arbites (Veteran Squads) and Sisters of Battle (Sororitas)
- There were 7 regiments of Catachan Jungle Fighters garrisoned, including:
- Three standard infantry regiments (including XXVI/26th Lurking Cobras and LI/51st Black Vipers)
- Two veteran light infantry regiments (including LVI/56th Sidewinders)
- Two armored regiments (including the XCVII/97th)
- The Lurking Cobras included several ace sentinel squadrons (though they were outmatched by ‘Brightwind’ configured Crisis Battlesuits)
- The snipers of the Black Vipers exacted a terrible toll on the Tau early in the war (reputedly killing one of the Tau Ethereals), but Tau Hammerhead ‘Elimination Groups’ struck back by eliminating allied armor (the 97th was all but wiped out by the third day of the war). The Lurking Cobras managed to hold the line so that the rest of the Catachan forces could redeploy to the jungle. The Sidewinders had been operating in the deep jungles, and the dense terrain gave the Catachan the upper hand.
- The Tau redirected their offensive operations towards the Herzon Ridge research and communication zone. This drew the Catachans out into open battle, where they were decisively beaten. Survivors withdrew into the jungle.
- Scattered remnants of the Catachan forces still mount sporadic guerrilla attacks on vulnerable targets, in the hope of eventual reinforcements.
Deductions from the Background
- The Catachan Forces would not want to face the Tau in open battle, so they must have been forced to engage them at the Battle of Herzon Ridge. Considering that the Catachan regiments were stationed on Cytheria to protect the Adeptus Mechanicus, it is safe to assume that the Adeptus Mechanicus would assert a substantial influence on the Imperial Guard Command Structure. Given that it was the attack on the Herzon Ridge research and communication zone that drew the Catachan regiments to battle, one could assume that zone was critical to Adeptus Mechanicus operations, and that the regiments were forced by Mechanicus leaders to engage and protect the facility.
- During their many long centuries of researching new patterns of vehicles being rediscovered out on the Eastern Fringe, the Brotherhood on Herzen Ridge became familiar with many designs that turned out to either be of xeno origin or based on xeno technology. Over the centuries the lines began to blur, and the Brotherhood subtly became more and more engrossed in the dissection and analysis of xeno vehicles of war. Alien technologies were tested, learned and adopted according to grey areas in Mechanicus theology, which seemed to grow and grow, until the Brotherhood had developed quite a radical streak.
- There are circles within the brotherhood, groups that follow an even more radical dogma that has become at odds with the tenets of Mars. The High Prists of Cytheria have become obsessed with xeno technology, and use their location out in the Eastern Fringe to operate quietly, away from the eyes of the Imperium.
- The few who are aware of this deviancy, are shocked when they learn of Cytheria’s fall to the Tau. They are faced with a two-fold problem – one one had, the Tau must not get access to the vaults of knowledge on Cytheria, which contain vast amounts of data on various forbidden technologies. On the other hand, should Cytheria be reclaimed and the Mechanicus secret revealed, the Inquisition would surely take offense to the practices being conducted on the distant planet.