Friday, 30 April 2010

24hrs to Submit my Tournament Army List


In less than 24 hours I have to submit my army lists for the Small Matter of Honour tournament, run by the Sad Muppets Society in Basingstoke. I haven't managed to get any games in over the last week, so I'm still dithering over what to take.

I like the list I've been using at the moment:

Shas’el Ra’star (Plasma, CIB, M-Tracker, 2 Gun Drones) - 110

3 Crisis Suits with Plasma, Missile & M-tracker (one was given the team leader upgrade for wound allocation as I had 5 pts spare) - 191
3 Crisis Suits with Plasma, Missile & M-Tracker including Leader with 2 Gun Drones - 211
3 Crisis Suits, 1 with Twin-Missile & 2 Gun Drones, 2 with Missile, Burst, M-Tracker - 163

6 Fire Warriors - 60
10 Kroot & 7 Kroot Hounds - 112
10 Kroot & 7 Kroot Hounds - 112

8 Pathfinders - 96Devilfish with D.Pod - 85

Hammerhead (Railgun, Burst, M-Tracker, D.Pod) - 165
Hammerhead (Railgun, Burst, M-Tracker, D.Pod) - 165
3 Broadsides (SMS, ASS) including Leader with 2 Shield Drones and Target Lock - 280

1750 Points, 74 Models & 13 Kill Points

However there lots of things I'd like to add, but as ever I don't have the points, so to fit in the new things I'll have to cut something in the list that I like.

Here's what I'm considering:

  • Adding a unit of 2 Piranhas - They would add some speed to contest objectives, and can form a nice road block to slow down the enemy getting to my main firepower. I would have to lose a plasma/missile crisis suit and a broadside to afford this.
  • Another troop choice, probably 10 kroot. They can infiltrate onto far off objectives and just go to ground, or can be another layer of defense against fast armies trying to get to my crisis suits. I could afford these by just dropping a plasma/missile crisis suit and swapping the shas'el's plasma rifle for a missile pod (however that's 2 plasma rifles gone from the list, and they have done great in recent battles).
  • I could go all the way with an extra troop choice and get a transport for them as well. This would mean I would have to make the changes in the above bullet point and lose one of the broadsides, but the 1-2 punch of markerlights followed by 3 broadsides is sometimes so essential, such as a landraider that has moved 12" forwards turn 1 and threatens to throw out close combat nasty stuff into the middle of the Tau lines on turn 2.
Well as I said I've got till about 7pm to submit my lists, so let me know what you think ?


Thursday, 29 April 2010

Recent Battles Recap- Part Two (Tau vs Nurgle Daemon, Nurgle Marines & IG)


Well it's been a busy week, so this will be a quick recap (rather than full battle reports) of the rest of the games I got in last week.

Tau vs Nurgle Daemons

First up I played one of the staff members at my local GW. he was playing nugle daemons. We rolled up 3 objectives with a pitched battle deployment. His list was (roughly):

Great Daemon of Nurgle
2 Winged Daemon Princes
1 Daemon Prince on Foot
3 units of 7 Plague Bearers
2 units of Horrors
5 Beasts of Nurgle

I placed one objective 12" from one side of the board along the centre line. My opponent placed his objective his another objective along the centre line of the 12" further in from the other board edge. I placed the last objective slightly outside what turn out to be the daemon "deployment zone" on the other flank of the board.

I won the roll for table edge, and in a moment of experimentation I decided to let my opponent have choice of board edge and first turn.

What I should have done is set up camped on the flank that had two objectives. The two kroot would then be able to infiltrate and form two long lines in front of my army (they would also be on the two objectives). I could then have use the first turn before the daemons arrived to run my whole army forwards, leaving my main firepower sitting on the objectives with the kroot forming two lines of defensive. If done well they daemons would have no space to drop within within my army and would be forced to drop in front of the kroot.

Unfortunately what I decided to was give 1st turn to my opponent, and to was to keep my whole army in reserve. The idea was that by the time I came on the board the majority of the daemon army would be on the board allowing me to come on in force in one area and use my greater mobility to pick the nurgle army apart bit by bit.

The plan worked perfectly, the vast majority of the daemons were on the board (all apart from one squad of horrors and one squad of plague bearers) before I came on. Unfortunately they had focussed on the side with the two objectives, and a deamon prince and the beasts were close to my board edge opposite the objectives making it to risky to come on straight in front of the two objectives that were near each other. Another deamon prince and the greater daemon were positioned centrally meaning the best place to come on was far from all the objectives.

The Tau took a fearful toll on the nurgle deamons, but one squad of plague bearers were on all three objectives by turn 5, and the although the winged daemon princes, greatr daemon, and beasts died by the end they had stopped by army moving forwards to get the plasma rifles in range of the troops holding the objectives.

The Tau had lost 1 unit of kroot. The Nurgle daemons had lost:
both winged daemon princes
the greater daemon
both units of horrors
the beasts

I managed to contest the objective out on it's own with 2 hammerheads, but the other two were held by plague bearers (who would only go to ground for the rest of the battle).

My move to claim objectives was not helped by the pathfinder devilfish immobolising itself when it came on the board, meaning the 6 fire warriors had no ride. As I only have one devilfish I must learn to be more careful with. It would have been better for the pathfinders to be in a slightly less better position and still have a mobile troop choice.

After the game finished we played one more turn to see if a kroot unit that has come on late on the flank near the 2 objectives would survive a charge from a plague bearer unit. It was here that I realised how poor plague bearers are in combat; WS3, only 1 attack each. The 6 remaining plague bearers faced 34 attacks before they struck losing 4 to the kroots 1 or 2, and they lost another to being fearless in combat. However even if the game continued there was still another unit of plague bearers and the last daemon prince who had decided to turn back rather than face the same fate of anything approaching the main Tau lines.

Playing Nurgle was a great showcase for the plasma rifles I had added to the list, and they didn't disappoint.

Basic things I learnt is that I should have played the game how I wrote at the start of this recap, and nurgle plague bearers aren't as hot in combat as they seem (they're just very good at absorbing firepower than doesn't ignore feel no pain). With feel no pain making an appearance in the blood angels codex I think it's another point to say the plasma rifles should stay.

Tau vs Nurgle Marines

Another game down my local GW was against Nurgle Marines (honest I wasn't choosing nurgle to make the plasma rifles look good).

My opponent had (roughly):

Choas Lord on a Beast of Nurgle
6 Plague Marines
in a Landraider

Nurgle Daemon Prince

3 units of 7 Plague Bearers (2 units had 2 flamers each, and the last unit had 2 meltaguns)
in Rhinos with Havoc Launchers

7 Daemons

There were also champions with powerfists in the squad, and icons. So a pretty straight forward in your face list with no long range firepower apart from the landraider (which would be moving the lord into combat rather than staying still to fire).

We rolled up kill points, my opponent had 1st turn so he spread his army over the middle 4ft of hist deployment, as far forward as possible. The lord and landraider were on my right flank.

I thought I'd trust in my broadside unit and deployed my broadsides, commander and both units of plasma/missile suits in the right corner. Protected by a line of troops just inside my deployment zone, careful to ensure 9 out of the 17 models were in cover. The pathfinders deployed behind the suits on the right flank.

In the middle I deployed as a distraction the 2nd unit of kroot in cover with the missile/burst suits behind them.

On the left I had the two hammerheads, and slightly further in a had the pathfinder's devilfish. The fire warriors stayed in reserve.

I didn't steal the initiative, and the nurgle army sped forwards, the landraider reaching mid table opposite my crisis/broadside firebase. The rhinos were forced to clump together going round terrain and they popped smoke.

My pathfinders lit up the landraider, removing the cover of the smoke launchers and giving the broadsides +1 BS allowing them to kill it. Some plasma rifles into the unit and they were half dead (mainly due to the lord taking lots of shots on his 4+ inv)

With my firebase corner safe. The kroot could move back turn 2 meaning there was nothing the lord could charge, allowing the plasma/missile suits to lend their help to killing rhinos turn 2, before moving back to killing the lord and plague marines near them.

The chaoas daemons came down to early on turn 2, so my opponent just hid them at the back in a ruin. My centre kroot were eventually overrun, but the last of the missile/burst crisis suits managed to pass his break test and run away towards the hammerheads to save a kill point.

The pathfinders bravely sacrificed themselves (by staying within charge range of the daemon prince, to put one last volley into plague marines allowing more plasma/missile to take remenants of squads out.

This game was a bit of a walk after the turn 1 landraider kill and a rhino going down turn 2. Once the plague marines were on foor the crisis suits with missile/plasma could move into rapid fire and jump back out of assault range.

Tau vs Imperial Guard

Last game I played was a practice for the Small Matter of Honour tournament which has 2 1250 pt games. My list is in part one.

I'm not going to go through the battle, but instead focus on one point my friend raised. My leadership dice are ledendary to them. They say I always lose because of poor leadership tests, and one even suggested putting in an etheral to help.

Now I'd strongly against the etheral idea. He has to be in LOS of the unit he helping (so he can't help if he's safe in a devilfish, and as I keep saying the chance of my failing each test is not that high. In this battle it was one test (admitable the first test I took) that I failed on ld8 (less than a 1 in 3 chance of failing) that saw two full crisis suits break never to return.

However I'm interested in what you think. Do you ever use an etheral ? Is he the piece of w**k I think he is ? Can he be useful in a heavy fire warrior list ?

Well I've got to get some rest, lots of work confernce calls, and more importantly I have to send in my lists for the Small Matter of Honour tournament by the end of tomorrow. See my next post for my current thinking.


Thursday, 22 April 2010

Recent Battles Review - Part One (Tau vs Mech Guard)

It’s a busy few weeks both on and off the 40k battlefield. In real life I’m going to be made redundant from my job, so I’ve been meeting with the solicitor, rewriting my CV and registering with recruitment agencies.

However war stops for no-one and my Tau have seen a new unit of crisis suits fully painted join their cadre (a second new unit is in the workshops). They have also been on 4 training exercises in preparation for the tournament on the 8th May (A Small Matter of Honour)

For these new training exercises Shas’el Ra’star was experimenting with increased firepower (more expensive crisis suits) and more bubblewrap (kroot) at the expense of less support (only 1 unit of pathfinders and no piranhas). The lists I used in these games were:

1750 List

Shas’el Ra’star (Plasma, CIB, M-Tracker, 2 Gun Drones) - 110

3 Crisis Suits with Plasma, Missile & M-tracker (one was given the team leader upgrade for wound allocation as I had 5 pts spare) - 191
3 Crisis Suits with Plasma, Missile & M-Tracker including Leader with 2 Gun Drones - 211
3 Crisis Suits, 1 with Twin-Missile & 2 Gun Drones, 2 with Missile, Burst, M-Tracker - 163

6 Fire Warriors - 60
10 Kroot & 7 Kroot Hounds - 112
10 Kroot & 7 Kroot Hounds - 112

8 Pathfinders - 96Devilfish with D.Pod - 85

Hammerhead (Railgun, Burst, M-Tracker, D.Pod) - 165
Hammerhead (Railgun, Burst, M-Tracker, D.Pod) - 165
3 Broadsides (SMS, ASS) including Leader with 2 Shield Drones and Target Lock - 280

1750 Points, 74 Models & 13 Kill Points

1250 List – I lose 1 Hammerhead, the Missile/Burst Crisis team and the Pathfinders with their devilfish bringing the totals down to 1241 Points, 57 models & 8 Kill Points

Training Simulation One

My first game was actually a 1500 pts against Mech Guard at my local GW store. My opponent only had 1500 pts wih him, so I had to do some heavy cutting to my 1750 list.
• I replaced the new crisis team (of plasma/missile, team leader with drones) for a mssile/flamer team
• The kroot were cut heavyily to 1 unit of 10, and another unit of 10 with 5 hounds
• 2 pathfinders were cut
• and finally a broadside was cut

My opponent was using roughly:

Command Team in Chimera

Psyker Battle Squad (only 7 models and no transport)

Platoon Command
2 Squads of Infantry (which joined together) with an attached commissair
1 further infantry squad

Vets with 3 plasmaguns in Chimera
Vets with 3 meltaguns in Chimera

2 Devildogs (Hellhound variants that have a flamer turret that wounds on 2+ and is AP3, plus they’re fast vehicles)

2 Squadrons of 2 Hydras (8 twin-linked str 7 shots from each squadron)
1 Manticore (only 4 shots a game, but each does D3 barrage Str10 AP4 Ordnance templates)

So 10 vehicles, not as mech as his list could have been, but still very daunting to face.

We rolled for mission and got capture and control (1 objective each) with spearhead (corners) deployment. With 2 shooty armies this game had draw written all over it. To give myself the chance of a win I put the missile/flamer team in reserve to deepstrike near his objective to clear some of the guard out, hopefully for the large unit of kroot to outflank and claim/contest his objective or just slaugher the remaining troops before dying.

The manticore was deployed out of sight in his corner behind a three story building, and the 2 infantry squads spread out in his back corner to stop the kroot outflanking straight onto his objective who was being held by the platoon command hiding in the building hiding the manticore.

With good use of terrain, smoke launchers and positioning the veteran chimera behind the devildogs the guard minimised the effect of the incoming Tau firepower to their vehicles,. However my main early target was the psyker battle squad. I am used to facing a full squad in a chimera, so 7 models in ruin was a opportunity to rid myself of this broken unit early, and all my missile pods fired into them turns 1 and 2 reducing them to 1 model.

One hammerhead moved mid table to try to get line of sight without giving cover saves to some hydras, but was nailed by the manticore, str 10 ordnance hitting against side armour (barrage rules) was just too much. The manticore also stripped drones from my crisis suits however I was lucky to save any instant kill wounds that went on the crisis suits themselves.

Turn 4 the game totally changed. My kroot finally arrived and outflanked to the wrong side of the board, and my deepstriking crisis suits still hadn’t arrived, practically making it impossible to get his objective. So my objective changed to ensure the draw by keeping him away from my objective. To that end I stopped firing at the hydras and concentrated on the outflanking force of the remaining devildog and 2 chimeras filled with veterans.

When the missile/flamer crisis suits turned up they assisted in the destruction of the melta veterans who were now on foot after their chimera was killed. The plasma vets got out of their chimera and immobilised the devilfish carrying the fire warriors, and then the chimera was exploded by missile pods and the vets charged by kroot, just as the game ended on turn 5.

The guard ended with a platoon command squad on his objective, 20 infantry with a commassair next to them, the manticore, 3 hydras (with 4 twin-linked autocannons between them), and a last infantry squad sitting midfield (that last squad did pretty much nothing all game). Oh and the HQ command squad was hiding somewhere still alive as well.

I’d lost a hammerhead, and half of the small kroot squad after they charged the plasma vets at the end, all the crisis drones and 1 or 2 crisis suits. My objective was held by the outflanking kroot and the fire warriors sitting in the immobolised pathfinder devilfish.

Main thing I got from this is that deepstriking and outflanking, are so unreliable because of the reserve rolls, and that manticores, devildogs and hydras are nasty for their cost (however vendettas would have been nasty as well if he had them).

I’m not sure out to do better in secure and control with spearhead deployment, and suggestions ? Or should I ignore this as at least it’s not a loss, and the mission and deployment combination should only come up 1 in 9 games.

As this has turned into a long post I’ll split the rest of battle reports into later posts. 2 1750 games against Nurgle Daemons and Nurgle Marines, plus a 1250 game against guard to come.


Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Support vs Firepower (Tau dilema)

It's always a tough call (particularly for my Tau army I'm finding) in getting the right balance between direct firepower units and support units. By support units I mean units that (for their points cost) don't add that much to the armies firepower but are essential in allowing the main firepower units to deal the most damage.

Support units for the Tau are split into two main types, ones which delay the enemy from getting to the Tau firepower units (such as Kroot bubble wraps, and piranha vehicle blocking), and units which make the Tau firepower even deadlier (mainly markerlights).

A third type of support is defensive wargear (such as drones, iridium armour, stims etc.). All three types of support must be balanced with the amount of firepower in the Tau army. To much support and it takes too much away from the army's firepower and you can't delay the enemy for ever and they either reach you or the army are shot down because it couldn't weaken the enemy force enough. Too little support and the enemy can get to the firepower units quickly and (particularly with too little defensive wargear) enemy firepower will start to kill the Tau firepower much too quickly.

One area I'm concerned about in my Tau army is the fast attack choices. Up till recently I've been using 2 units of 6 pathfinders. Recently I've been trying out piranhas (by dropping one unit of pathfinders and upping the remaining one to 8 models). When I tried to come up with a list containing two units of pathfinders and a squadron of two piranhas it really seemed like it took too much firepower away from the rest of the list. Yesterday thought I'd draft a list using one of unit of pathfinders (no piranhas) and the amount of firepower in the list looked down right scary.

So I'll open it up to you, how much markerlight and piranhas are too much (for a 1750 pt army) ?

Must get back to my painting, my new crisis suit unit is almost done :)



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