Friday, April 26, 2013

Battle Report - Redemption & Retribution Campaign Trial Game - Tau vs DA

Jamie and I have been talking about running a campaign for some time now and finally got round to it last weekend. Jamie has written 6 scenarios for us to play through with the first 5 games affecting the outcome of the final apocalypse sized game at Warhammer World. In order to get a feel for balance in the campaign missions we played a trial run of the first scenario to see what needed tweaking. For a full rundown of the rules head over to Jamie's blog here. He's also written a brief battle report.

Essentially the mission involves a Cadre Fireblade, who starts inside a bastion, needing to make it to one of 6  inactive Devilfish, board it and drive it off the table. The Dark Angels want to interrogate the Fireblade so must "capture" him by killing him in combat. I'll run through it in picture form and then give some thoughts afterwards. Jamie is controlling the Tau with me returning to Dark Angels.
Tau deployment. The inactive Devilfish are screened by Piranhas. The back field is densely packed behind them making deep strike tricky.

Dark Angels forces arrive behind enemy lines. The tactical squad splits into two as it emerges from its drop pod. One squad of terminators is delayed (deep strike mishap) and the Chaplain's command squad scatters wildly out of position. 

Aftermath of turn one. The Dark Angels manage to kill a good number of Tau infantry but it isn't enough to stem the torrent of fire that comes their way. One terminator squad is annihilated whist the DW knights and DW command squad are depleted including the loss of the standard of fortitude.

More terminators arrive in the distance with support from a Nephilim. Thinking I'd be using it to engage ground targets it gave it a mega bolter which means it fails to harm any of the devilfish.
Elsewhere the second drop pod arrives and one combat squad is able to destroy a  Devilfish. Meanwhile the command squad fires its plasma cannon and immobilises a second Devilfish. Both cyclone launchers fail to do any damage to the transports.

The Nephilim is downed by missile broadsides whilst the sheer weight of fire from the piranhas is enough to kill off one of the terminator squads. The tacticals blow up another Devilfish but it's looking like too little too late. With neither cyclone termiantor team making it into combat with the tanks the fireblade is almost certain to escape.

The game is pretty much over by this point. With only a handful of tacticals and a couple of terminators left I'm never going to get to the devilfish before the fireblade does.

When I was first planning my army for this game I'd totally missed the point. I should've geared my army to maximise it's anti-vehicle firepower to down the Devilfish. With those out of the way I'd win automatically. My plan was to take out as much firepower in the first turn to allow my terminators to run riot. Sadly Jamie made all of his leadership tests even on Ld 7 and therefore my terminators had to make far too many saving throws. In hindsight even with my sub-optimal list I could've still won the game had I gone for the transports straight away. My terminators would only need to make it into combat with them for me to almost guarantee their destruction assuming I hadn't droppped them with fire from the heavy weapons.

We're going to play through this scenario again with a couple of changes. The Tau will have their piranhas and crisis suits in reserve (as they're out on patrol when the attack happens) which will significantly reduce the fire coming my way. The piranhas were devastating in this game. They pump out 8 shots each for just 40pts and can cover ground very quickly. Throw in a couple of markerlight hits and my terminators didn't have much of a chance.

It's always difficult taking a low model count army against an army with massed firepower. Even if the individual weapons aren't that powerful the torrent effect soon forces a few 1s on the armour saves. I had to maximise my chances of getting into combat alive which is why I brought most of my terminators in at once. Had one not mis-happed then things could've been different. I also could've used my drop pods better as they can deep strike pretty accurately and I could've probably used the guys inside to down more transports.

I'm looking forward to the replay followed by the rest of the campaign!

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