This weekend Matt and I attended Reanimation which was yet another singles tournament at the Outpost. I'm generally a bit wary about their tournaments as they have custom scenarios that, whilst different, aren't always well thought out. That being said they make a welcome change from the rulebook missions and they're getting better each time we go. Not to mention it's always nice to attend a tournament in your home town.
|Recognise that dreadknight?|
Anyway, I took along my Tau list:
1,749pts of Tau
Commander w/ fusion, plasma, target lock, neuroweb (which I forgot about all day), VRT, Iridium suit
2 Crisis Bodyguard w/ plasma & twin-linked fusion
3x 9 Fire Warriors
9 Fire Warriors in a Devilfish w/ D.pod and spines
2x 10 Kroot w/ hound
Crisis team (2 with pod and twin pod and shas'vre with 2 pods and a PENchip)
Riptide (Ion, fusion, EWO, VT)
Riptide (Ion, fusion, EWO, VT)
3x 6 Pathfinders
Game One - Tau vs. Necrons
My first game saw me facing Chris Scothern and his Necrons. Matt and I had played Chris at the Blood Brothers event earlier this year. Chris was fielding 2 ghost arks with warriors, 3 annihilation barges, veil court with haywire thingies and overlord, destroyer lord with deathmarks in a night scythe and 5 warriors in a night scythe. Normally at this point I'd be sure of defeat but I was pleased to see there were no wraiths and only a couple of flyers. The deathmarks would be a problem for my riptides but otherwise it came down to how lucky I was against AV13.
The mission involved dividing the table into 6 2'x2' sections and worked in a similar way to Cleanse from 4th edition in that you had to have a unit in their unopposed to claim the section. The three sections in my half were worth 2pts and the three sections in his half were worth 4pts each. Clearly the idea being that it prevents people from camping in their home sections for a draw. All units were scoring except flyers and ICs could control a board section but not contest it. Important to remember that for later.
At this point I should say I forgot to take any pictures until after the battle was over so I apologise for that. Anyway, there would be no Seize the Initiative so when Chris won the roll off I deployed pretty conservatively. As ever the aegis line gave away where my fire warriors would be but everything else I spread down the line.
Chris' first turn was pretty unlucky for him. Basically he failed to get any sixes on his tesla barges so could only manage a single wound on a riptide and a handful of pathfinders. His court mishapped and I got to place them out in the open hoping for a blast from a riptide. Sadly Chris was able to move a barge in front of them. My turn was similarly poor with one riptide failing a nova and then failing to penetrate a barge with an S8 blast but it did wound the overlord. The missile team scored a decent number of hits on a barge thanks to markers but despite tank hunters they could only manage a single glance against AV13.
Chris brought on his flyers and slowly began to chip away at my army. My riptides managed to survive another turn despite weathering a lot of fire. My response was pretty brutal. The crisis team came down and managed to take out a ghost ark with the combination of fire warriors and the devilfish finishing off the warriors inside. The commander immobilised a barge and the one of the riptides was able to destroy another. Frustratingly the other riptide failed to deal with the flyer and the missile pod crisis suits again failed to destroy the barge only managing to strip another hull point. One squad of kroot arrived and hit behind a massive building hoping to be ignored and steal a section.
The deathmarks managed to finish off a riptide whilst the other was charged by the destroyer lord. Sadly I didn't think of using Smash to make me S10 to allow me to strip the final wound from the lord instead I failed to wound against his high toughness. The riptide would pay for it in the next round of combat as he killed himself thanks to mindshackle. Time was running short at this point so we were forced to rush things a little bit. The court walked on from reserve (they'd been delayed by another mishap) killed the commander's bodyguard. The commander was able to finish off a barge but died in combat with the overlord in the following turn. I destroyed one of the flyers but that allowed the warriors to walk on from the board edge and force the kroot to run. The final turn would be crucial. Luckily for me the Necrons failed to kill the missile team thanks to lucky saving throws.
Chris didn't realise that 50% of a unit had to be in a zone to claim it so he'd moved his deathmarks to far. The fire warriors shot down the destroyer lord, the devilfish contested the section with the court and the kroot regrouped. This meant 4 of the 6 sections were contested whilst I controlled the other two as Chris had forgotten that ICs couldn't contest and my pathfinders had snuck into the middle section. Combined with linebreaker I scored 5 points to Chris' 3 (all from secondaries). Somehow I'd won despite feeling pretty outnumbered and only having killed a third of the Necrons.
Game Two - Tau vs IG/SM
There was one army in particular that I hadn't fancied playing when I looked around the room and that was Jamie Dempster's 5 flyer list. His force consisted of a librarian, 5 scouts, stormtalon, stormraven, CCS, PCS, blob squad, 2 pairs of sabres with lascannons, two veteran chimeras, 2 vendettas and a vulture. The mission we were playing was entitled "Mosh Pit". Basically there was an area marked in the middle (see the white bit on the photos). Kill points could only be scored whilst you had a scoring unit within this central zone, although they were allowed to stay in their transports. We'd be using Vanguard deployment.
I managed to get the first turn and moved my devilfish into the scoring zone as I couldn't resist trying to destroy both chimeras with an S9 nova shot. Despite penetrating I failed to kill either. The missile crisis team fared better managing to blow up the first transport. I also couldn't resist pie-plating the blob squad who were all clustered on a single terrain piece. This went a little better with something like 15 of the guardsmen dying! The response was minimal from the guard with a couple of wounds stripped from the riptides.
The commander and his bodyguard arrived and after weathering fire from the sabre platroms, they destroyed the other chimera. The kroot arrived on the right flank and gunned down the CCS preventing Jamie from using the astropath for his flyers next turn. Unfortunately this didn't prevent all 5 of them from showing up on Jamie's second turn. The riptides attempted to intercept them but could only force the stormtalon to evade. The vulture easily gunned down a squad of kroot but the other flyers weren't able to kill off the riptides or destroy the devilfish.
In response the commander used his warlord trait to give his squad skyfire for a turn and bring down the stormraven. Meanwhile the riptides used their non-intercepting weapons to bring down the stormtalon with help from the missile crisis team. The remaining kroot charged one pair of sabres and destroyed them. Sadly the guard flyers were still fully operational though and the vulture wasted no time in gunning down another squad of kroot (does it really need Vector Dancer?). The vendettas were able to finish off one of the riptides but the other clung on for another turn.
Once again time was running short. The commander and his team jump in and out of cover to finish off the veterans. The riptide tried to kill a vendetta but could only destroy one of the lascannons. The sabre platforms brought down the devilfish and the vulture gunned down the occupants. The blob squad was finished off but the librarian remained with a single wound. At the end of my final turn I had a 3-4pt lead but the scenario stated that any units in the "mosh pit" at the end would be worth an additional VP. Needless to say the vendettas hovered and the PCS broke cover to dash in. Combined with the librarian they gave up enough points to score Jamie a draw despite having very few ground units left. Final score 11-11.
Game 3 - Tau vs Eldar/GK
Despite the draw in game two I'd managed to score enough points to put me on table 3. My opponent was somewhat familiar.... Matt. We've never actually played at a tournament but I knew all to well what the list Matt was using was capable of. Needless to say I didn't feel confident. The final mission would be Purge The Alien but with a bonus point for the first unit from each FOC destroyed i.e. the first Fast Attack unit killed would be worth 2 pts but the second would only score 1 pt.
Matt was fielding Coteaz, some monkeys/servitors/acolytes, two dreadknights (what else?), a spiritseer, two squads of wraithguard with d-scythes in wave serpents and a wraithknight. The large number of template weapons in Matt's list would not be much fun for my fire warrior blob behind the aegis. I just had to hope I could stop them getting there. Luckily I managed to win first turn (I always win roll-offs against Matt). Matt deployed conservatively with his dreadknights out of range of the missile crisis team who can force a lot of saves with Monster Hunter. Instead the team targetted a wave serpent with Tank Hunters and managed to blow it up (with Matt failing to convert a pen into a glance) meaning one unit of wraithguard would be footslogging it. I also wounded the wraithknight but this was soon cancelled out by the spiritseer.
The dreadknights teleported forwards and incinerated the Ethereal's squad from both sides. Through sheer bad luck on Matt's part they only just scored enough wounds to kill the fire warriors leaving the Ethereal unscathed. The wraithknight attempted to instant-kill one of the riptides but failed to roll a 6.
In my second turn crisis team arrived right in the middle of the board and despite some contention about whether they'd mishapped or not they landed just shy of the wraithknight. Meanwhile the kroot arrived on both flanks with those on the left targetting Coteaz's squad with help from some fire warriors who'd advanced in a devilfish. The missile team was again able to down the other wave serpent but the wraithguard were now close to my lines. The combination of riptides, command team and fire warriors was enough to finish off both dreadknights in a single turn.
|Best. Combat. Ever.|
The wraithguard incinerated more fire warriors (this time killing the Ethereal). The spiritseer moved to the other squad (we couldn't find where in the rulebook it says an IC can't leave one squad and join another in the same turn - are we just thinking of 5th or something?). Anyway, the spiritseer and the wraithguard charged the commander but the combat was a draw and the commander was able to use his vectored retro-thrusters to Hit & Run. Meanwhile Coteaz decided to break from his squad and charged down the fire warriors. They weren't able to harm him with Overwatch meaning he got into combat with them unscathed. The Fire Warriors struck first and I was incredibly lucky with my rolls managing to score 5 wounds. I joked that it'd be funny if they killed him and sure enough Matt rolls three 1s on his five dice and Coteaz was embarrasingly taken out by the supposed combat whipping boys. To compound the problems the Wraithknight failed a charge through terrain.
The battle was pretty much one sided from this point onwards. The kroot and devilfish were able to finish off the monkeys (with the last one running). The riptides and missile team combined to kill the wraithknight off in a single turn. The commander and his squad killed off one of the wraithguard squads. Matt now only had the spiritseer and a squad of wraithguard left. The wraithguard were able to use their d-scythes to wipe out the commander and his bodyguard in single gout of eldritch flame. The spiritseer targetted a squad of pathfinders with his destructor power hoping to finish them off in combat. Sadly for him they fled only to regroup in the next turn.
The remainder of my army was now in position to gun down the few remaining Eldar models. My kroot advanced first though to claim Linebreaker. The devilfish and it's detached drones combined to finish off the spiritseer (which always feels like a free kill). The pathfinders managed to lay 9 markerlight hits on the wraithguard to make things very easy. To prolong the agony for Matt I paused to split up my markerlight hits to try to work out the best combination to make certain the wraithguard would die. All it took in the end was the two riptides with their ion accelerators and fusion blasters thanks to the markerlights making them BS5 with Ignores Cover. Had they failed there was still the missile team, two squads of fire warriors and some kroot ready to help out. Talk about redundancy!
Suffice to say Matt didn't really enjoy the experience and I think from the point he lost both dreadknights he wasn't having fun. That'll be 1-0 to me on our tournament matchups then!
The 17-11 victory in the final game against Matt was good enough to get me 3rd place which was a nice surprise. A much better and far more unexpected surprise was that the referees had judged my Tau to be the Best Painted army too! The combination of the two netted me £20 in store credit which, with the 20% tournament discount, allowed me to pre-order the new marine book for £8. Nice!
I have to stress that whilst the events at the Outpost are pretty competitive the venue doesn't insist on painted models which means my Tau were just well painted in comparsion. I don't for a second think they're up to much in their current state but the referees liked that the army looked cohesive and that the painting was "neat". They obviously didn't look that closely then!!
The army performed pretty well. The main weakness is the over-reliance on the riptides to take down vehicles of all kinds. Of course AV12 or less isn't too much of a problem but the AV13 spam of the Necrons and AV12 flyers in the second game really showed the weakness. For the next tournament I need to look at working in some more anti-tank and perhaps reducing the anti-infantry firepower. Incidentally my list was considered cheesy for having two riptides in it but I think it's more about the synergy between the units that makes it pretty deadly. The riptides actually act as a good distraction from the crisis teams which actually do most of the work.