Friday, May 31, 2013

Battle Report - Blog Wars Warm-up - Tau vs. CSM/Daemons & Tau vs. GK

Matt and I have been working on our Blog Wars 5 lists (tickets still available from the link on the right) for a while now. I've switched from DE to DA to Tau and Matt has been trying to find a CSM/Daemons list that he's happy with. Today was another test game for us. Matt would be trying out a new Chaos list followed by a Grey Knights alternative and I'd be using my "backup" Tau list that requires less painting than my planned list. Oh and it's cheaper too as I don't need to buy any broadsides. Here's what I'm running:

1,850 pts of Tau
Commander (fusion, plasma, TL, VRT, iridium)
Ethereal

12 Fire Warriors w/ Devilfish (d.pod)
12 Fire Warriors
12 Fire Warriors
11 Kroot plus hound
11 Kroot plus hound

3 Crisis Shas'ui (twin-linked fusion, plasma)
2 Crisis Shas'ui (MP, twin-linked MP), Shas'vre (2 pods, PEN)
Riptide (ion, fusion, EWO, VT)

7 Pathfinders
7 Pathfinders
Sun Shark (twin-linked MP, decoys)

Hammerhead (Longstrike, subs, SMS, spines, d.pod)

I'll run down how the list works in another post but I'm pretty sure you can imagine. Anyway, onto the battle reports.

Game One - Tau vs. CSM/Daemons
Matt was running 2 princes, lord of change, pink horrors, typhus, 2 x 10 zombies, 2 heldrakes, 3 solo obliterators. We were playing Relic on Vanguard. I won the first turn and there was no Night Fighting.

With the daemon princes fearing S10 insta-death they were safely behind a building. Therefore I brought as much fire to bear as I could on the lord of change whilst he wasn't swooping. I managed to bring him down to two wounds and kill off  handful of horrors and zombies. Matt moved his daemon princes forwards as quickly as possible with one taking cover behind a building. The other deployed the portalglyph which spawned some horrors which used their bolt to kill a line of 4 fire warriors. The other horrrors attempted to kill some pathfinders but they passed their Deny the Witch roll. The lord of change incinerated 4 of the other pathfinders though.

I got all four of my reserves with the kroot squads arriving on my left flank to gun down some zombies. The suits dropped into the centre and the flyer dropped its drones before targeting one of the daemon princes. Sadly it failed to harm the prince despite grounding it. The spawned horrors weren't around long as the disembarked drones from the devilfish killed them. The lord of change was cut down by massed firepower after being downed. Longstrike turned his railgun's attention to the downed prince but depsite wounding the beast it passed its invulnerable save and avoided death. The recently landed crisis team was able to finish it off however whilst the commander closed the portalglyph down permanently with his fusion blaster.

Not a pretty sight!!
Matt dropped two obliterators in brave positions next to Longstrike but could only strip two hull points and destroy the SMS with their twin-linked meltaguns much to Matt's annoyance. The daemon prince turned around and smashed down the entire crisis team including the commander for slay the warlord.

The fire warriors and riptide combined to easily remove the obliterators whilst the bomber dropped its payload on the zombies but could only kill a couple. Sadly despite heavy firepower the daemon prince survived thanks to tzeentch re-rolls of 1s on its armour save. Typhus arrived with another obliterator along with the pair of heldrakes. Never a nice sight! The dragons started by vector striking my bomber down with ease between them. They then incinerated the ethereal's squad but thanks to some good fortune the ethereal survived whilst his squad perished. The obliterator failed to hurt the hammerhead just like his late colleagues. The daemon prince dispatched the other crisis team as easily as he had the first.

The Tau hit back killing the daemon prince and destroying the baleflamer on one of the heldrakes. Sadly the other was unscathed though. The fire from the Tau gunline was enough to leave Typhus on a single wound. In return, the obliterator charged the hammerhead after failing to destroy it with his melta again. The power fist was enough though and the vehicle was wrecked. Typhus attempted to charge the riptide but with only a single wound remaining he was cut down. The horrors gunned down the pathfinders thanks to rolling well on their power.

One heldrake zoomed off to the left flank to deal with the kroot but only killed a handful. In return the kroot were incredibly lucky and stripped two hull points from the flyer. There was very little left on the table now and the game was coming to an end fast. Sadly I'd totally forgotten all about the objective. The kroot managed to kill one of the zombie squads but sadly the other was able to claim the objective. With Matt scoring slay the warlord too it was enough to give him a 4-2 win. With very little chaos left on the board this was probably against the run of play but as ever I need to play the mission!! My riptide was all off half an inch from contesting though!

Game Two - Tau vs. Grey Knights
Matt was running 3 (yes 3) dreadknights, coteaz, a 10-man strike squad, a stormraven, draigo and 4 solo paladins. Certainly not a horde then! We'd be playing Big Guns on Dawn of War and once again I was lucky enough to take first turn and there'd be no Night Fighting.

Basically I wanted to try and put as many wounds on the dreadknights as I could. The crisis team used a couple of markerlights to become BS5 and with Monster Hunter from the chip they were able to force the dreadknight in the centre to take 8 saves. Somehow Matt managed to roll four 1s and I'd killed a dreadknight in a single volley!! Draigo was at the front of the strike squad. With Coteaz acting as a Look Out Sir tank for any S5 or less shots. The riptide and hammerhead managed to put a couple of wounds on draigo and kill a couple of strike marines. To do as much damage as I could I fired some 30" pulse rifle shots from my fire warriors at BS5 (thanks markerlights). They managed to score 8 wounds with Matt rolling LoS for half. He then had 4 2+ saves on Draigo who somehow died too!! That has to be one of my best openings ever, Draigo and a dreadknight down at long range!!

From this point onward Matt was fixated on the number of 1s he was rolling. I'm not suprised! Anyway, the remaining dreadknights advanced and incinerated both pathfinder teams with the remnants running off. No more markers for me but I could hardly complain. The strike squad cut down 6 fire warriors too.

My crisis team, bomber and one squad of kroot arrived. The kroot, interceptor drones and crisis suits lined up the dreadknight on the left whilst the crisis team dropped in next to the other. The commander and his team were easily able to destroy their target but the other dreadknight survived with a couple of wounds. Matt brought in a couple of paladins but despite attempting to intercept them with the dreadknight I'd failed to Nova him so a single melta shot ended up not being enough. The ion accelerator was able to remove a wound from one though. The stormraven arrived and failed to harm the hammerhead with it's multi-melta but it did manage to kill a crisis suit. The dreadknight managed to stay locked with the crisis team to save it for a turn.

One paladin was finished off by the fire warriors but the other survived on a single wound. I managed little else but was able to block the paladin with my gun drones and use the devilfish to prevent the dreadknight from charging my riptide once he was out of combat. The dreadknight now finished off the crisis team as expected. This cock-blocking prevented the paladin from charging my fire warriors and instead he headed towards the kroot. The dreadknight incinerated some fire warriors and then found himself out of charge range. The paladin had similar problems. The stormraven decided to hover for another shot at the hammerhead but despite hitting this time Matt snake-eyed the penetration rolls (more 1s!!).

Longstrike failed to down the storm raven as it passed it's Jink save! The crisis team did the job on the now hovering flyer and blew it out of the sky. I failed to kill the paladin and dreadknight who were now passing their 2+ saves with ease. A third paladin arrived and managed to lose a wound to dangerous terrain (1 followed by a 1). The riptide then intercepted to take it's remaining wound!! The paladin charged the kroot forcing them to run. The dreadknight incinerated the rest of the ethereal's squad and charged him down too. Despite my early luck this was now looking a lot closer that it seemed. Luckily I managed to kill the paladin with my gun drones before the interceptor drones dispatched the dreadknight. God I love killing things with drones!! The flyer zipped off hoping to return should there be a turn 6.

If I hide behind my shield he won't see me!
Matt wasn't done yet though. A final paladin arrived and controlled the kroot objective. Meanwhile the strike squad lined up to charge the other kroot as Coteaz split off to try and kill some fire warriors. He killed enough to put them out of range of the objective. The strike squad failed the charge luckily for me. I'd got an objective with my hammerhead, Matt had one with his paladin with the other contested.  If the game ended on turn 5 it would've been a draw as we'd both got 2 secondary VPs. With Matt rolling so many 1s (and having rolled for it game 1) I rolled and got a turn 6.

I tried to play for the tabling now. A pair of fire warriors had jetted over to the paladins objective in a devilfish and with help from the kroot they killed off the paladin controlling it. The kroot opened up on the strike squad killing the remaining two marines. I just needed to kill Coteaz for the tabling. The riptide hit him with an ion shot but Matt went to ground. He failed his initial 6+ but thanks to Precognition he passed the re-roll and with the game ending there I'd just missed out on the tabling.

After Action Thoughts
Well the first game was yet another lesson in play the mission. Had we played on for another turn then it would've been an easy Tau win but I need to remember to play for turn 5. Otherwise the game felt fairly one-sided. Having said that Longstrike didn't do what he has in previous games and instant kill any daemon princes. In fact in both games he was pretty unlucky. I missed with him several times despite BS5 and when I did hit things made their saves. I still think he's worth having though as he should do a lot better.

For the entire first game I forgot all about my interceptor units. The riptide really should've been dropping those obliterators and maybe even heldrakes before they even struck. It was a pretty major mistake and I was just lucky that Matt wasn't able to punish me for it. Still, I've not been using Tau long I suppose.

The second game I've dubbed "A Game of Ones" and Matthew of Greenwood (probably not the "first of his name") really didn't enjoy it. Once you've decided you're rolling a lot of 1s you do notice them more but seriously he was rolling wayyyy more than he should've been. I mean the obliterator wounding itself on dangerous terrain and the stormraven's snake-eyes with it's melta. That being said it's always going to be the way in massed fire versus elite army games. The sheer volume of shots is usually enough to deal with 2+ saves without low AP.

The riptide is really growing on me. I was sceptical at first but I think with interceptor and skyfire he's pretty awesome. I wasn't sure about the velocity tracker but the potential to fire two twin-linked melta shots at a flyer before it's even fired is far too tempting. Still he did manage to cause 5 wounds on himself across the 2 games thanks to failing Nova!

These games were great for me as they allowed me to test out my crisis team substitute for HYMP broadsides. I don't really want to buy 3 of the new models so I thought I'd try the team listed above. They certainly don't have the firepower of the broadsides and are only 3+ armour but they make up for it in manoeuvrability. This helps to compensate for the 36" range. With the puretide chip they're pretty good for dealing with vehicles and MCs alike. The main thing they lack is Interceptor though. The riptide and interceptor drones provide some help but it would be nice to have all those shots against Necron flyers for example.

Ultimately there isn't a world of difference between the two when you take everything into account. The main thing is that I don't have to buy, build and paint three broadsides if I take the crisis team. That means I only have pathfinders to paint and leaves me some money spare for Eldar perhaps.....

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