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Battle of Mu'gulath Bay

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Targetdrone.gif This article is about the First Battle of Mu'gulath Bay; for the Second, see Second Agrellan Campaign.
Battle of Mu'gulath Bay
The Imperium and Tau battle at Agrellan
Conflict Third Sphere of Expansion
Date 757999.M41[1b]
Location Agrellan
Outcome Decisive T'au victory
Imperium T'au Empire
Chapter Master Corvin Severax
Captain Kor'sarro Khan
Commander Shadowsun
Ethereal Supreme Aun'va
Substantial Imperial Guard
White Scars elements
Raven Guard 6th Company
House Terryn
20 Hunter Cadres
Heavy Unknown

The Battle of Mu'gulath Bay, known as the Battle of Agrellan to the Imperium, was a major battle fought between the Imperium and the T'au Empire in 757999.M41 on the world of Agrellan (soon to be renamed Mu'gulath Bay). It is the largest battle of the Tau Third Sphere of Expansion and one of the greatest T'au victories over the Imperium.[1b]


The battle was the first major engagement between the Imperium and T'au Empire during the Third Sphere of Expansion. Centred on the Hive World of Agrellan, the human forces had amassed a substantial force of Imperial Guard which were heavily dug-in and supported by heavy Leman Russ Battle Tanks. The White Scars under Kor'sarro Khan also arrived for support.[2] The Imperial defences surrounding each Hive were formidable - heavy walls topped with bunkers overlooking an open wasteland rigged with mines and tank traps. Bypassing or landing behind these positions was difficult, as they would simply find themselves trapped within the twisting streets of hive cities and surrounded on all sides. However, due to the strategic importance of Agrellan (being the gateway to the Dovar System), Third Sphere commander Shadowsun realized that bypassing the world was impossible. To bolster T'au morale for the battle ahead, Ethereal Supreme Aun'va personally arrived to meet with T'au forces set to enter the battle.[1a]

To crack this formidable planet, Shadowsun herself planned and led the assault. Twenty Hunter Cadres simultaneously struck key hive nodes, and at the vanguard of each strode the latest and mightiest T'au weapon, the XV104 Riptide Battlesuit. This was the first combat deployment of the Riptide, and they proved invaluable during the battle, using their agility to bypass defensive points and blowing apart Imperial Guard bunkers and tanks with their heavy weapons. Better still for the T'au, much of the Imperial anti-tank weaponry proved useless against the Riptide's armour. Even the firing of an Imperial Deathstrike Missile proved unable to penetrate the Riptides once they had activated their Nova Reactor shields. Upon reaching the enemy walls, the Riptides engaged their jet packs and created breaches that would later be exploited by Fire Warrior teams.[1a]

Taking advantage of the situation, Shadowsun then began mass ground assault led by Hammerhead tanks, Manta Gunships, and Sun Shark bombers. Despite being outnumbered by Imperial tanks six-to-one, the Tau emerged victorious thanks to their planning, maneuverability, and long-range firepower. It was during this engagement that Longstrike gained infamy for destroying countless Leman Russ tanks and leading the T'au grav-tanks into the streets of Agrellan's capital hive. Here, the Tau were able to use accurate Hammerhead firepower to quickly suppress any Imperial Guard forces that attempted to move out of their cover and engage incoming waves of Fire Warriors. Meanwhile the White Scars Space Marines were proving deadly but their small numbers and mere raids could not turn the tide.[1a][2]

Shadowsun then led a counterattack against the Imperial forces that turned into a complete rout in what is now known as the Path of Blood. By this point the Raven Guard 6th Company under Chapter Master Corvin Severax had made himself known, revealing his intent to evacuate the planet as he saw that Agrellan was lost. But with the T'au rapidly approaching the broken remaining Imperial positions, delaying actions had to be fought. Thus Raven Guard forces in cooperation with Cadian Imperial Guard and Knights of House Terryn held back the T'au from besieging Agrellan's Prime Hive city. However T'au Riptides brought down the Knights, and a flanking manoeuvre by Shadowsun saw the Raven Guard and Cadians entrapped. Severax then played his trump card, and the Freeblade known as the Obsidian Knight entered the battle. Severax had been aware of his skill in battling the T'au and secretly transported him to Agrellan. The Obsidian Knight was able to prevent the T'au encirclement, and give the Imperials enough time to evacuate.[2]


It was a bright day for the T'au, who saw a foe with vastly superior numbers crushed. Moreover, no less than twelve advanced weapon prototypes were successfully deployed in the campaign, with only the fusion reactor meltdown that destroyed Agrellan's moon proving a failure. After the battle, Agrellan became a new T'au Sept, renamed Mu'gulath. With Mu'gulath in their hands, most nearby Imperial worlds fell to the T'au in short order.[1b]

Following Shadowsun's victory, she became overconfident and pursued the retreating Imperials, which led to a stinging defeat at the Battle of Voltoris.[3] Eventually the Imperium launched a counterattack that saw Mu'gulath destroyed in a second battle.[4]