Sunday, 31 October 2010

[Tau] Starsmash Tournament Results & Day One Games

Last weekend I went to the Starsmash Tournament, run by my local gaming club, Spiky Club, in Reading.

This tournament was my worse result for the year :( With the tournament having a lower points limit of 1500 pts, I followed my, up till now, tactic of putting in as much firepower as possible. Going down to 1500 pts meant I dropped my troops to 2 units of 10 kroot and 6 firewarriors. In hindsight doing this meant that you have to extremely protective of your troops in objective games, and be willing to lose another unit to protect them at times. Fire warriors should never start on the board (and ideally never be out of a devilfish) and kroot should only be sacrificed when necessary.

The list I used for the tournament was:

Shas'el Commander Ra'star - 102
Cyclic Ion Blaster, Missile Pod, Multi-Tracker
Hard-wired Drone Controller with 2 Gun Drones

Crisis Battlesuit Team - 187
1 Crisis Battlesuit Shas'ui
Twin-linked Missile Pods
Drone Controller with 2 Gun Drones
2 Crisis Battlesuit Shas'ui
Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Multi-Tracker

Crisis Battlesuit Team - 124
2 Crisis Battlesuit Shas'ui
Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Multi-Tracker

Crisis Battlesuit Team - 163
1 Crisis Battlesuit Shas'ui
Twin-linked Missile Pods
Drone Controller with 2 Gun Drones
2 Crisis Battlesuit Shas'ui
Missile Pod, Burst Cannon, Multi-Tracker

6 Fire Warriors - 60

10 Kroot - 70

10 Kroot - 70

5 Pathfinders - 60
Devilfish - 85
Disruption Pods

Hammerhead Battle Tank - 165
Railgun, 2 Burst Cannons
Multi-Tracker & Disruption Pods

Broadside Battlesuit Team - 283
Shas'ui Broadside Team Leader
Advanced Stabilisation System
Hard-wired Target Lock, Hard-wired Blaksun Filter
Hard-wired Drone Controller with 2 Shield Drones
2 Shas'ui Broadsides
Advanced Stabilisation System

Hammerhead Battle Tank - 130
Ion Cannon, 2 Burst Cannons
Multi-Tracker & Disruption Pods

1499 Pts, 13 Kill Points

Game One

First Game was against daemons. I faced a nurgle greater daemon, a daemon prince, 2 units of slannesh cavalry, 1 unit of khorne cavalry, 30 flesh hounds, 3 units of 5 plague bearers for troops. This list was very very fast, with 5 units that could charge 19-24". Added to that night fight which stoped most of my firepower. One weakness of my opponents army (in my mind) was the few troops, if I could kill all the plague bearers and not get tabled I could at least get a draw.

The mission was a new one created for the tournament, you won if you had the most scoring units within 6" of the centre of the board. I won the roll of for first turn and gave it to my opponent, and choose to deploy nothing so my opponent had no idea where along my board edge I would be.

Even though after the poor shooting on the turn 1 night fight, and using both units of kroot to mean that it was turn 4 before anything but kroot was charged, I fired eveything I had at plague bearers I was wiped out before I had killed 2 units, because they constantly went to ground for a 3+ cover save and feel no pain against most of my firepower.

Gaining only 75 victory points (the tournament tie-breaker) I went down to bottom table :(

Game Two

Now daemons are an army that normally either wins big or losses, so I meant the only other daemon player who had faced an eldar army with 4 warwalkers and eldrad in his first game. He droped units and he took units off the board as the eldar opened fire. He was wiped out without getting a single victory point.

He had a simular army, again 3 units of 5 plague bearers, unit of khorne cavalry, 2 units of slannesh cavalry, nurge greater daemon. Differences were instead of 30 flesh hounds he had a second daemon prince, a tzeentch character on a chariot and 2 units of screamers for anti-tank.

Playing the rulebook mission with multiple objectives and quarters deployment made the game a bit easier. Firstly I was able to spread the objectives out so the daemons couldn't focus all his army in the same place. Secondly I could put some distance between me and the enemy, and I had further distance to fall back to if necessary.

My two units of kroot lined the other edges of my deployment quarter to push him back. The rest of my army were spread behind them to make deepstrike impossible for units and quite risky for single models.

One of the kroot units died early, and the other one died to the tzeentch character on a chariot. However everything that hit the kroot line. The second kroot unit dying was probably my first big mistake of the game. I was left with only 6 fire warriors coming on from reserve. I could have moved and run the kroot back into my deployment zone, as there was nothing apart from the tzeentch character and screamers in that area.

My Tau firepower did was it says on the can and obliterated all the cavalry units, even the nurgle greater daemon, tzeentch character, and some screamers. One daemon prince kindly mishapped and died trying yo drop into my lines.

My second big mistake of the game was moving the pathfinder devilfish to contest an objective held by plague bearers as it was the vehicle furthest forwards, knowing that the 6 fire warriors could run to claim an objective deep in my deployment zone.

The devilfish supported by a unit of crisis suits contested an objective. However with hindsight a hammerhead although slightly further back should have done the contesting, because 6 fire warriors out of a devilfish tend to be dead firewarriors. Late in the game the last daemon prince deepstriked and landed spot on target, even though I'd even used the devilfish's drones to make the area risky for dropping. A big piece of terrain stopped some of my army from having LOS to the prince, and when I opened up with everything within LOS he passed all his 4+ inv saves. Next turn he flew over the LOS blocking terrain and munched the fire warriors in combat. Although the rest of my army killed him easily the next turn the damage had been done.

Although I had neutralised one unit of plague bearers, contested an objective that another unit wanted, there was still one unit in cover near an objective very far in his corner of the board, so I lost 1-0. I lost about 350 vuctory points, and he had only 12 plague bearers remaining. Lesson learnt protect your troops at all costs.

Game 3

I was playing marines, who used the special character khan to allow them all to outflank. The mission was the one objective each mission (normally the draw mission). He had sternguard outflanking in a razorback, 2 units of tacticals in razorbacks (put in reserve to get his objective), a big squad of bikes that combat squaded (big enough to allow them to count as troops), a large bike command HQ unit.

My whole army deployed in the middle 24" with the kroot on the outside edge. Having been given 1st turn I had two turns of my army surging forwards intent on killing the tctical squads as soon as they came on to take his objective.

This tactic worked well, as the tacticals were taken out easily as they came on. A bike squad and sternguard were taken out as they came on the side my objective was near. On turn 5 the bike command squad which came on late had killed the kroot on the right, and charged the broadsides. Next turn I would have to sacrifice a crisis suit unit and the pathfinders to stop them getting to the pathfinder devilfish which was sitting on the objective with 6 fire warriors inside. If the game continued to turn 7 I would have to use careful placement of the devilfish to ensure that if the command squad blew it up with a charge they were still more than 3£ from the objective and the disembarked fire warriors could still claim it.

On his objective 2 hammerheads were sitting on it, and 1 unit of crisis suits were in the upper levels of a building over looking his objective, the small unit of crisis suits with the shas'el were also in the middle of the table ready to support. Against this my opponent had a combat squad half of a bike squad. On turn 5 all they did was immobolise one of the hammerheads on the objective (as they had both moved 12" the previous turn).

Luckily the game ended on turn 5 giving me a 1-0 win :)

So end of day one, and I was on 2 losses and a win. Day Two will pit me against a librarian that would not die and a tyranid horde. Brief summaries and my learnings will follow shortly.


  1. Dam pesky demons. We have no warp signature..Why can't they leave us alone!!!

  2. Hope day 2 went better for you. Seems you had quite an unlucky first game. I look forward to the rest of the reports.

  3. Other 2 games should be up over the weekend.

    They were fun games, one against marines and the other against tyranids. I'll leave the outcome for the battle reports.




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