2 x 5 Ranger pathfinders
3 War Walkers with scatter lasers
5 Fire dragons
Shas'el with plasma/missile pod
12 Fire warriors in a devilfish
2 Broadsides with TAs and shield drones
Aegis line with quad gun
We managed to get first turn and decided to reserve the acolytes to avoid easy kill points along with the two squads of hunters one in a pod and the other outflanking. Everything else was as far forward as possible to close the distance as soon as we could. With their Aegis line already on the board we had a rough idea of where they would deploy. The broadsides would be a problem for the thunderwolves as they'd be instant killing them if I failed shield rolls.
Our opponents dropped one squad of pathfinders on their right flank with the Tau contingent of devilfish, suit and piranha in the centre. Everything else was clustered behind their aegis line. Interestingly they decided to delpoy their war walkers rather than reserving them. They attempted to Seize but came up short so we began the game.
|Top of Turn 1|
It was around this point that I forgot to keep taking photos so my details might get sketchy from here on.
The fire warriors disembarked from the devilfish and with help from the remaining fire dragon and broadside they were able to reduce the grey hunters to a couple of models. The war walkers were given Prescience and therefore managed to kill a dreadknight out right giving our opponents the precious First Blood VP. The rangers with Eldrad along with the commander and piranha attempted to do the same to the other dreadknight but Matt was better with his saves this time around. Although we'd lost the dreadknight we were pretty confident that we'd still have enough to do the job.
My grey hunters outflanked at this point and thanks to Acute Senses I managed to get them on the side I wanted. They walked on between the war walkers and the broadside. One of the two guys left from the original drop podding hunters jumped on the quad gun and with help from his mate with the plasma gun managed to drop the sole remaining broadside. The guys who'd outflanked let rip with their rapid fire on the war walkers. They'd already taken damage from somewhere (I said it'd be sketchy!) but the grey hunters were able to destroy the whole squad with one exploding and taking the remaining fire warrior with it (bonus!). Meanwhile the dreadknight incinerated some fire warriors. The purifiers were able to blow up the piranha but the thunderwolves failed their charge on the devilfish. With very little left already our opponents could do very little in return.
Anyway, the thunderwolves eventually managed to charge both the devilfish and firewarriors easily dealing with both. The outflanking grey hunters fired their pistols at Eldrad. I had thought about rapid firing to avoid having Eldrad kill my wolf priest in a challenge for an easy point. However, our opponents accused me of being afraid of him so I geared up for a charge instead. I shot down a couple of pathfinders and then charged in. Eldrad challenged the wolf priest and, in their words, he was too afraid of Eldrad to accept. The rest of the squad easily killed off the remaining pathfinders and Eldrad too. The dreadknight charged down the commander and you can imagine how that ended. At this point (the bottom of turn 3) our opponents had a single pathfinder remaining so they understandably conceded.
With their first blood kill of the dreadknight they scored 2 pts but the overall score was 12-2.
(EDIT: I think I've merged turn 2 and 3 together here somehow but I hope it still makes sense).
I don't think we can really complain with 12-2 as a start in the tournament though and with absolute VPs as the scoring method we were off to a good start.
I have to say the photos aren't doing their Tau army justice. They were painted on a commission by a friend of Tom's (I think) but Matt has the guys details so if either Tom or Fin want to post them on here feel free. They were a pleasure to play against. Also got some great tips about photography afterwards so I'll soon be investing in a light tent and I'll let you know how that goes.
I really think this was one of those rock vs scissors games. They needed to keep us away as long as possible but that's pretty much impossible with our list! Either way I don't think the result was because we did anything special. The only thing that was surprising was the choice to swap out Eldrad's powers. The one with 3D6 minus leadership hits on a squad was effective but I have to think that Prescience isn't any better than Guide and Fortune would've helped out some of his units. Obviously not having first turn didn't help them though. I suppose this was the reason they deployed the war walkers so that they'd get the most out of their fire power.