After a successful first game it was onto game 2, and this time I was up against Mr Marine himself, Lysander.
I didn't change my list from the first game, and I faced the following list:
Lysander (who joined the drop podding tactical squad)
10 Tactical Marines
Missile Launcher and Meltagun
Powerfist, Combi-melta on Sergeant
5 Scouts with Sniper Rifles and Camo cloaks (one had a missile launcher)
5 with close combat weapons, including a sergeant with a powerfist
Landspeeder storm with a heavy flamer
10 Tactical Marines
Sergeant with Powerfist
6 Assault Terminators (2 Lightning claws, 4 Thunderhammers)
Dreadnaught with Twin Lascannon & Powerfist with built in heavy flamer
Ironclad Dreadnaught with Hammer & Powerfist, with built-in Meltagun & Heavy Flamer
This time we rolled up pitched battle deployment again, but this time is was multiple objectives (4 in this case). This time my opponent won the roll to go first or second and choose to go first again.
To recap, the battlefield set up was:
The table had (from my side's point of view) a forest in the top right and bottom left, with the rest of the board having ruins scattered across it. In the top right was a standard 3-tier city fight ruin, to the right was the GW scenery with the stained glass window. In the top-middle was one of the card building GW made in the 90's, it was 3 tiers and quite large (about 10” across at the base). In the middle, about 20” from the left of the table was one of the new bastions, directly in the middle of the table was another of the 3-tier city fight ruins, and on the left was a group of mordiem card buildings, roughly 6” from the right table edge and strething from 10” away from my board edge to about 20” from my board edge. In my deployment zone there was the forest on the left, a small ruin (2 tier) slightly left of the middle, and then a selection of mordiem card buildings in the right ending about 10” from the mordiem buildings on the far right that stretched out of my deployment zone.
The objectives were located:
In the ruin in top left hand corner
In the forest in the bottom right hand corner
In the forest in the top right hand corner
Just behind the ruin in the middle of the table, on what turned out to be my opponents side of the table. My opponent choose the same table edge as before (not surprising the top edge with the most objectives).
My opponent kept the close combat scouts in their landspeeder storm in reserve, along with the three drop pods, Lysander went with the tactical squad in a drop pod.
The sniper scout squad started behind the ruin in the centre. The tactical combat squaded, with the sergeant and flamer going in the rhino to the right of the big ruin in the middle of my opponents deployment zone, while the rest of the squad with the lascannon went on the left hand side of the second level of the big ruin. Unlike the lootas in the last game they wouldn't need to go up to the top level to get good line of sight for all of the squad because only the lascannon was important. The vindicator went to the left of the big ruin in the centre.
I put a empty devilfish on the far left flank (with the intention of claiming the top right hand objective once a troop choice embarked). Next to the devilfish went a hammerhead. I left the forest next to the hammerhead (with an objective in it) empty and put my broadsides just left of the centre of my deployment. I wanted to give the broadsides space to run either left or right as I expected Lysander and Tacticals or at least a dreadnaught to deepstrike near them to take out the majority of my railguns in one swift close combat. On my centre right I placed my missile/fusion suits in cover, followed by the missile/burst suits and lastly the missile/flamer suits. On the right flank I placed a second devilfish and then the second hammerhead in the right hand corner. One unit of pathfinders was in a building in my centre-right that the missile/fusion crisis suits were behind, and the other unit of pathfinders were deployed on the right flank in buildings.
Marine Turn 1
As expected Lysander and the Tactical squad decided to come down turn 1, along with the Ironclad dreadnaught. Lysander tried to go directly on top of the objective in the forest on the left hand side of my deployment. The drop pod scattered slightly and landed straight in front of the hammerhead, they got out on the side nearest the forest (Lysander's eventual target was the broadsides). Two meltagun shots later and I was down one hammerhead. The Ironclad dreadnaught tried to deepstrike in front of the crisis suits, but scattered back a bit, the heavy flamer roasted all but one pathfinder in the building the crisis suits were behind. A lascannon shot from the combat squad in the top central building bounced off a hammerhead. The vindicator, assault terminators and rhino with a combat squad in all raced forwards, while the sniper scouts moved into the central building.
Tau Turn 1
I got a poor role on the broadside movement, so decided to put the devilfish in the way to stop Lysander from assaulting them next turn. Unfortunately the devilfish was immobilised in the forest doing this. The pathfinders lit up the vindicator but all the three broadsides couldn’t kill it, but they did take off the demolisher cannon and stun it for a turn. The railgun from my remaining hammerhead missed, and my missile/flamer crisis suits couldn't hurt the rhino. Lastly the two fusion guns from the missile/fusion suits could only immobilise the ironclad that had landed in front of them. With markerlight support the missile/burst crisis suits with the shas’el took the scouts down to 2 models. Not a good start for the Tau.
Marine Turn Two
The dreadnaught and landspeeder storm did not turn up. Lysander moved round the immobilised devilfish, and used his bolter drill ability on tactical squads to rapid fire at the broadsides to no effect.
The combat squad in the rhino and the vindicator stayed roughly where they were.
In the marine shooting phase the brave last pathfinders in the bottom central ruin dodged several storm bolter shots trying to finish him off, and the crisis suits lost a couple of drones.
Tau Turn Two
Annoyingly all the Tau reserves arrived. Shas’el Ra’star could have sworn he had instructed them to wait, they would now have to survive the whirlwind barrages. The fire warriors popped into the devilfish on the right hand flank, the large kroot unit outflanked towards the unguarded objective in the top left hand corner, and the smaller unit outflanked near the objective in the top right hand corner. Both units spread out to minimise whirlwind barrages.
Tau firepower took out the last of the scouts (that’s one scoring unit gone), the dread and a drop pod.
Marine Turn Three
The marine attack hit home hard this turn. The landspeeder storm hoped over the hammerhead on far right flank, so that the scouts could hop off and charge the plasma/fusion crisis suits (bad positioning from me there). The dreadnaught deepstruck by the objective in the top right hand forest, perfectly in flamer range of the kroot that outflanked last turn. To help them out the combat squad in the rhino (carrying another flamer) came over to flame and shoot the kroot as well.
Lysander left the tactical squad and joined the assault terminators with their rush towards the broadsides. The tactical squad stayed in the bottom left and forest with the objective and my crashed devilfish.
The vindicator moved across toward the large kroot unit approaching the objective in the top left hand corner to contest it.
In the shooting phase the small kroot unit on the right flank was reduced to two models and broke. The drop pod on the right flank took out the devilfish’s two gun drones while the other drop pod finished off the last pathfinder from the squad in the centre. The whirlwind shot at the large kroot unit killing a few due to their spaced formation.
The scouts that came in off the landspeeder storm assaulted and the serg fisted the life out of the unit.
The marines were now firmly in control of the game. Lysander and assault terminators in the middle of the board not far from my deployment zone edge. A full tactical squad on one objective, a combat squad inches from another, and one in the middle of the table that the combat squad with a lascannon could move to take by the end of the game.
Tau Turn Three
I had to clear a path for the fire warriors in a devilfish to get to the top right hand objective. The hammerhead moved forwards but missed the dread. The broadsides knowing there time was soon to end decided to shoot rather than run (leaving lysander in charge range). I really missed having a target lock, so all three overkilled a drop pod (couldn’t get LOS to the dread). The crisis suits fired ineffectively at the terminators (should have concentrated on the tactical marines)
Marine Turn Four
The marines just needed to the troops to dig in on the objective while the terminators and dread ran after me. Lysander charged the broadsides and dispatched them easily. The combat squad with a lascannon moved and then ran down the building to hopefully get in range of the centre objective in turn 5. The dread did nothing against the Tau disruption pod protected vehicles.
Tau Turn Four
The hammerhead moved forwards and killed the combat squad’s rhino in the top right hand corner. The crisis suits whittled down the combat squad on the objective in the forest in the top right hand corner, they then moved up behind the devilfish which would have to do a mad dash for the objective turn 5.
I was running out of time
Marine Turn Five
The terminators vainly tried the run after the crisis suits. The dreadnaught failed to bring down the devilfish. The whirlwind again killed a couple of the kroot near the objective in the top left hand corner. The vindicator moved to contest the in that corner, it immobolised itself but was still in range of the objective. The combat squad with the lascannon made it to the objective in the middle of the table.
Tau Turn Five
The Tau wiped out the combat squad over the top right hand objective. The devilfish moved the full distance to claim the objective in the top right hand forest. However the hammerhead missed the dread again (luckily it was a bit to far forward and wasn’t in a position to contest). The last of the Tau firepower took one of the marines holding the centre objective. The (now not so large) kroot squad attacked the vindicator but couldn’t kill it.
Big Tau Error: In turns 4 and 5 the gun drones on the devilfish disembarked and fired at tactical marines. What it should have done turn 5 was: Devilfish 12” move forwards, disembark 3” (if you include the size of the base), run D6”, and assault phase move 6” to contest the centre objective. Alternatively they could have disembarked turn 4 to make the contesting easier turn 5.
Unfortunately the game ended. 2-1 to the marines in objectives and 1 objective contested.
Although it was a loss for the Tau, it wasn't to fair away from a draw. Obvious things I could have improved was not wasting shots on the terminators. I should have continued with my early focus on the marine troops choices, it always the case that you can't lose if you kill all the opponent's troops choices and aren't wiped out.
Again I wasn't too impressed with the fusion guns on the crisis suits, and basic missile pods would have had many more shots in the game. The main advantage of fusion guns is against tanks and I think I should just leave that to railguns (or side shots with multiple missile pods).
Part Three will follow shortly, with a wrap of how I thought the list performed.