Monday, 31 May 2010

A Small Matter of Honour Tournament Report – Part 1 (Games 1 & 2)

Well the tournament has been and gone. My Tau Cadre were joined by 3 others to fight off an array of opponents that included many Space Wolf, Orc & Imperial Guard armies.

My recent blog post showed that right up the last few hours of the deadline to e-mail in army lists I wasn't sure what to take. In the end I took the following 1750 Pt 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 – 96
Devilfish 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

The first two games of the tournament was at 1250 pts (which also restricted non-troop choices to 2 slots). For these games I lost the Hammerhead, Pathfinders, and the last Crisis Suit team (with Missile Pods & Burst Cannons).

Game One

For the first game I was drawn against the only Necron army at the tournament. The Necron list was:

Necron Lord
Staff of Light, Resurrection Orb

2 x 12 Necron Warriors
1 x 11 Necron Warriors
2 x 3 Destroyers

1 Monolith

The mission was Dawn of War, Annihilation, and my opponent won the roll off and decided to take first turn (so I decided to keep everything off the board and walk everything on turn one). My opponents first mistake was spreading his army out too much. He deployed one unit of warriors in the middle of his deployment zone with the necron lord, another warrior unit deployed in a ruin on the left (from my point of view). The ruin completely blocked line of sight from my side of the table (but we placed it that he got a cover save anywhere on the base of the ruin so he could advance to get fire at me while still getting a cover save). On his turn one he walked the last warrior unit on the right side of the board, and his destroyers moved into the centre just ahead of the central warrior unit who moved and ran forwards only a small amount due to bad dice rolls.

With his whole army on (apart from the monolith) I decided to refuse flank, and use only the left hand side of the board (the necron squad on the right was closer to the board edge than the one on the left).

As always the fire warriors stayed in reserve, and the two kroot units moved and ran forwards to give me a nice line of cover. The first unit was just about able to gain a cover save with the scant amount of cover available. The first kroot unit spread out* to about half way across the board, and the second one was slightly left (for my crisis suits to fall back (leftwards really) as the necrons advanced. The two crisis suit units were behind the kroot, and the broadsides were at the back (but not being blocked by the crisis suits).

* A little deployment tactic with little cover I have found with the kroot is as well as using the cover available also trail the kroot unit behind the crisis suit they are trying to protect, then both the kroot with intervening cover and the kroot behind the crisis suits are in cover. If the total of these two sets of models are greater the 8 I would get a cover save for the kroot.

Dawn of War night fighting meant I wasn't able to get off any cheeky first turn kills.

Second turn the monolith didn't show up, and the necrons continued their advance forwards. The destroyers moved ahead of the warriors in the middle who also moved forwards, warriors in the ruin on the left moved to the edge of the ruin's base so they could fire next turn, and the warriors on the right moved and ran forwards.

The kroot unit furthest forwards went to ground, so only suffered a few casualties from both destroyer units firing at them. In reply the crisis suits jumped in front of the kroot, and I opened up with the broadsides which vaporised one destroyer unit, and poor armour saves meant the the crisis suit unit joined by my shas'el killed the other one. The other crisis suit unit, hammerhead submunition, and the 2nd kroot unit did 8 wounds to the necrons in the ruin on the left.

Now I'm sure exactly whether it was poor terrain rolls or just not moving forwards but the middle warrior unit was not as far forwards as the unit on the right (even though they started much further away, and only had to go forwards rather than at a diagonal).

In the 3rd turn the monolith turned up, and 2 or 3 of the downed necrons got back up, so they decided to hop through the monoliths portal straight in front of my kroot line, as the monolith as landed a few inches from my front line of kroot. 2 or 3 more necrons recovered from being transported through the monolith. The monolith's hit everything within 12” went off, and unfortunately as my crisis suits and broadsides had been moving leftwards my army was quite compact, so that that the monolith hit every unit in my army. Luckily wound allocation and bad rolling on the necron's part meant that only the first kroot unit had to take a test. I think the teleported necron unit fired at the first kroot unit, but what I definitely remember is that this turn the kroot decided enough was enough and decided to break and never return.

A key turn for the Tau, saw the broadsides nail the monolith and the crisis suits plasma rifles at rapid fire range annihilate the teleported necron warrior squad, leaving only the necron lord and 2 warriors squads against my entire army (less one kroot squad).

In turn 4 The necrons had no choice but to advance forwards hoping to get closer to the Tau, so did no damage. The Tau crisis suits could leave the kroot screen as they would get their armour save against the necrons basic guns. They were able to move within 12” of the nearest necron squad (which happened to be the squad that started on the right flank). Aided by the hammerhead and broadsides the squad was annihilated. Although I got the kill point, nearly half of the unit joined the warrior squad with the necron lord which was nearby.

Over turns 5 and 6 I was able to wittle the last necron squad down, so that when the game moved onto turn 7 non enough necrons recovered and they phased out. With the luck of the game continuing to game 7, the necrons phasing out gave me full victory points and catapulted me to table 1 for game 2.

Game Two

I was a bit apprehensive about the kind of army I would face on table 1, knowing my Tau would find it very hard against the top armies, so imagine my surprise when I found out I was playing another Tau army. Not only that but my opponent had played against Tau in his first game.

The 1250 point list I was against was:

Plasma, Missile, Multi-tracker, 2 Shield Drones
(may also have had a targeting array)
2 Bodyguard
Plasma, Missile, Targeting Array, HW Multi-tracker

Crisis Suit Team
Shas'vre with Burst Cannon, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Targeting Array & HW Multi-tracker
2 Shas'ui with Burst Cannon, Flamer & Multi-tracker

20 Kroot, including Shaper, accompanied by 10 Hounds
12 Fire Warriors, incl Shas'ui with Markerlight & bonding knife
12 Fire Warriors, incl Shas'ui with Markerlight & bonding knife

3 Broadsides with Advanced Stabilisation System

The first two things that struck me about the list was the extremely short ranged crisis suit unit without any drone protection (they could be ignored and then instant killed by railguns later), and the broadside team had no drones. If I could win the railgun fight (I had 4, 3 protected by 2 shield drones, and the last by a disruption pod, against his unprotected 3), any remaining railguns would make a mess of his crisis suits.

The mission was Multiple Objectives with a Spearhead (quarters) deployment. As I thought I had the better short ranged firepower (with all my plasma rifles) I wanted the objectives close together to try to instigate a short ranged firefight (completely the opposite of what I normally want).

The terrain was quite spread out, and nothing completely blocked line of sight so when I won the roll for picking sides/going first I choose to go first. There wasn't much terrain in the quarter that I picked. I wanted a good killing field with no cover if my opponent wanted to advance as I had the greater long ranged firepower, and I didn't want the enemy kroot to be able to advance under cover towards my line.

The terrain (as seen from my long table edge) was:

A crater about 20” from my right hand table edge and 6 “ inches from my bottom table edge (in this I placed one unit of kroot). A bit to the left of the crater was a small wall which I placed by broadsides behind. Near the centre of the board just in the bottom right hand quadrant (my quarter) was a second crater behind which I placed my second unit of kroot spaced out so that both units of crisis suits and my commander (he joined the crisis suit unit without drones) could hide behind. My hammerhead deployed between the crisis suits and the kroot in the crater near by board edge (I could get away from the railguns and I wanted the burst cannons to be able to support against any advancing kroot). Finally my fire warriors decided to stay in reserve until there were less guns around.

In the bottom right hand quadrant there was a large 3 story building about 6” from the corner of the table.

In my opponents quarter (top left), about 7 “ from the centre of the board there was another large 3 story building. Although large both of the buildings did not completely block line of sight to the other side at all, meaning although units in them or behind would always get a cover save they could always be seen. There was also a crater further back behind the large building and a low wall.

My opponent placed his broadsides behind the large building, with his large kroot unit behind them. His command team and the elite crisis team were to the top of the large building, and a bit further back. One unit of fire warriors deployed very back in his quarter, about 6” from the centre line of the table but very near the left hand table edge (maybe to advance to the building in the bottom left hand quarter). The other fire warrior unit deployed at the top right of my opponent's quarter (at the top and just slightly left of the middle of the table).

I was curious about the kroot deployment, so asked my opponent why he didn't outflank them. He said there was a chance they would come on the wrong side, plus as I played Tau it was likely I would just make sure nothing was within 12” of the table edge and just kill them easily when they came on. Good points which I agreed with him on.

In the top right hand quarter there was an average sized ruin that was about 20” from the centre of the board.

The 4 objectives were located one each behind the two craters in my deployment zone, one in the large building in my opponents quarter and the last one was behind the crater in my opponent deployment zone.

With my opponent failing to steal the initiative I started with my first turn.

My Turn One

My forward kroot moved and ran forwards into the crater near the centre of the board, putting the majority of the unit in the crater but spreading out a few guys each side to give my crisis suits models to hide behind. My crisis suits followed up the kroot, and with that I moved onto shooting.

Hoping to get an early lead in the railgun fight my broadsides opened up on the opposing broadsides, but unfortunately the two instant kill wounds I caused were deflected by the terrain. My crisis suits unloaded everything into the fire warriors at the top of the table and reduced their number to half (6). My hammerhead not wanting to waste his shot against the broadsides cover spotted the fire warriors at the far end of the table and a submunition blast killed 4 of them.

The fire warriors who lost 6 guys made their morale test, while the squad who had lost 4 broke.

Opponents Turn One

The fire warriors who broke failed their regroup test and ran off the board with a second very long fall back move. The broadsides moved up into the building near the centre of the board, and the kroot moved up (however rather than going through the large building they decided to go round the south of it, although it would mean no difficult terrain tests it would be a longer trek to my army and without a cover save from a large portion of my army). The crisis suits advanced, with the short ranged (burst/flamer) team just clearing the large building.

The broadsides opened up on my hammerhead (I really wished they hadn't made all their cover saves), however I was lucky and all they did was stun the hammerhead. The short ranged crisis team fired on the kroot but they went to ground and only lost a couple of models. The HQ crisis team and the fire warriors fired on one of my crisis teams but cover, good armour saves and wound allocation meant I didn't have to take a morale test.

Crucially the short ranged crisis team did not move back to get a cover save from the building (probably hoping to get in flamer range next turn).

My Turn Two

My fire warriors came on from reserve (obviously too early from the look of horror on their faces when they saw how little firepower had been removed from the table). They joined the kroot in the crater near my table edge next to the objective.

My crisis team without my commander moved up the board to get their plasma rifles in range of the enemy fire warriors. With one troop already gone I wanted to capitalise on it and kill another one quickly. The other crisis team moved leftwards to take a few shots on the kroot.

The broadsides fed up of enemy cover saves could see the short ranged crisis suit team out of cover and nailed two of them, getting rid of the flamer threat to the centre kroot. One crisis team shot at the fire warriors and reduced them to just one model. The other crisis team took out just over half a dozen kroot.

The fire warrior and crisis suit team leader both passed their morale tests, and my crisis suits jumped back to their original positions.

Opponents Turn Two

The kroot moved and ran forwards, and were getting a bit close for a unit of that size (next turn I could still move back to ensure they couldn't assault either the kroot or crisis team in the centre of the board, but I wanted them less of a threat). The crisis suit team leader joined the broadsides in the building, and the HQ crisis team advanced to the corner of the building. The single fire warrior moved and ran back towards the opponents HQ crisis suits getting behind them.

The 3 broadsides tried again at the hammerhead, and I was lucky again that only the railgun turret exploded rather than the whole tank. The HQ crisis team fired into one of my crisis suit units (I think it was the one joined by my shas'el) and between cover saves from the plasma, armour saves from the missile pods and wound allocation I only lost a drone and maybe a wound on my shas'el.

With no morale tests to take it was onto my turn again.

My Turn Three

With both remaining enemy troops choices exposed I decided they had to die to try and put the game firmly in my hands. The hammerhead moved 6” forwards towards the kroot to get his burst cannons in range. The crisis suits that had fired at the fire warriors last turn moved up the board again to get line of sight on the last fire warrior. My shas'el and his crisis team moved to rapid fire range of the kroot. Even the fire warriors and kroot near my table edge readied their weapons.

One crisis team nailed the last fire warrior, overkill but I was worried about him moving far back and the HQ crisis team moving in front of him stopping me from getting line of sight to him later. The centre kroot tried some cheeky shots at the HQ crisis team hoping to knock the drones out for some railgun fire to follow but they all made their armour saves, so everything else fired on the kroot. After the hammerhead burst cannons, the broadsides SMS, kroot rifles, fire warriors, shas'el and rapid firing fireknifes there were only 8 remaining. The remaining kroot failed their morale tests and the last of the enemy troop choices were no more.

Lastly my crisis suits jumped back to the mid field behind the kroot in the centre crater.

Remaining Turns

My opponent was in a bad situation, with no troop choices left he not only had to dislodge the kroot in the centre crater, without dying to the 7 crisis suits (all carrying plasma rifles) sitting right behind them, but he also had to get to my board edge to contest the second unit of kroot and 6 fire warriors camped on another objective. A tall task when he had 4 crisis suits and 3 broadsides and the only noticeable firepower I had lost was the hammerhead's railgun.

I can't remember exactly what the enemy broadsides fired at turn 3, I think it was the crisis suit unit with my shas'el, and I think I lost a crisis suit and the remaining drone made it's cover save. The following turn my broadsides nailed two of the opponents's broadsides, and the last one refused to fail a cover save for the rest of the game. The HQ crisis suit team fired at crisis suits mainly, but with cover saves they didn't bring either unit below half strength. The crisis suit team leader fired at kroot who merryily went to ground for the rest of the game, until my broadside team leader snipped the crisis suit team leader. No amount of firepower would cause even a wound on the HQ crisis suit team.

In conclusion the game ended 2-0 on objectives. None of my units had been bought to half strength and I had got just over 800 victory points from my opponent. My victory points meant I as knocked off table 1 and would play the first game at 1750 pts on table 2.

1250 Point Games Conclusion

Not too much to glean really. I think the list worked well, but I was still worried about not having a pathfinder devilfish for the fire warriors. What I could see from looking at the other armies at the tournament was that I had been very lucky with the first two opponents I pulled, there were armies which would have been very hard for my army to beat around.

Games 3 and 4 would give my Tau a much tougher test, battle reports to follow shortly.


Monday, 24 May 2010

So Many Battles, So Little Time...


Well my Tau have now been to their 2nd one day tournament of the year, and they didn't fair too bad, however I think that was helped by lucky draws in some ways. I think some lists, such as mech guard, drop pod space wolves or assault squad spam blood angels give the Tau real trouble. The first can out shoot us easily and the others don't give us the starting room to manoeuvre.

So I know have 7 mini battle reports to finish, and I fly out on holiday tomorrow. I'm staying at my parents in America so at least I'll have internet access.

As a teaser here's the armies I faced (and the points value played):
Necrons (1250)
Tau (1250)
Eldar (1750)
Orks (1750)
Nurgle Daemons (1500)
Space Wolves (1500)
Necrons (1500)


Saturday, 22 May 2010

My Rumoured Demise


Rumours of my demise are greatly exaggerated. My Tau cadre attended their 1st tournament of the year, and they have returned blooded but proud of their performance :)

The Tau Water Caste are compiling post battle briefings and reports on Shas'el Rathstar's tactical performance, even as Shas'el Rathstar is preparing a slightly smaller force for 3 battles tomorrow.


The last two weeks have been extremely busy, hence the lack of blog posts. It was my last week at work, I've been planning a trip to the America, chasing recruitment agencies and preparing for interviews.

I've started the battle reports and hopefully will be posting the first installment on Monday, before I fly out on Tuesday. I'll post the 2nd installment while I'm on holiday, as well as battle reports of my 1 day tournament tomorrow.

I'll post the list I'll be taking tomorrow this afternoon.



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