Tuesday, 30 November 2010

First Warmachine Games & Initial Thoughts

After dithering on my choice of Warmachine faction (I really like some of the Retribution models) I decided to actually start with one of the 4 main factions, and in my case it was Menoth. The models for the jacks, bastitions and errants caught my eye. I also liked the fact they have to use synergy between their unit abilities to make the best use of their army.

I was lucky in that after winning an auction on ebay for the metal starter set (plus a unit of errants) and posting for army list advice on my local club's forum, I found out that someone at my local club was selling some Menoth models, so I was able to pick up a choir, delivers, flameguard, 2 heavy jacks, 3 light jacks & the high reclaimer for £70. To finish off I won another two auctions on ebay for another crusader and 6 flameguard to finish off the unit.

First Game

My first game of Warmachine was with a 35 point Epic Kreoss list:

Epic Kreoss -6 pt
Crusader 6 pt
Crusader 6 pt
Repenter 4 pt
Temple Flameguard (Officer, Standard, Leader & 9 Grunts) 8 pt
Exemplar Errants (Leader & 5 Grunts) 5 pt
Exemplar Bastions (Leader & 4 Grunts) 8 pt
Reclaimer 2 pt
Choir (Leader & 3 Grunts) 2 pt

I was up against another Menoth list using Amon and loads of light jacks:

Amon -6 pt
4 Dervishes 16 pt
3 Vigilants 12 pt
1 Devout 5 pt
2 Choirs (each consisting of Leader & 3 Grunts) 4 pt
Covenant 2 pt
3 Wracks 1 pt

The game was fun, and was very bloodthirsy on both sides. My flameguard took the brunt of the initial fighting, and Amon's ability to give his jacks +1 to hit and damage for each previous hit in the turn made them very destructive, but it was bit of overkill against my infantry.

When I feated and charged in my crusaders they smashed light jacks easily, and the choir meant that on the further turns my jacks were still hitting the opponents light jacks (even with their poor MAT stat).

One nice combo I did with the flameguard was to put a +3 armour buff on them from kreoss, and trigger the UA's mini feat which game them +4 arm while they were in shield wall formations the turn before they were charged by a few of Amon's jacks

In the end Amon ran out of jacks. I think my opponent list suffered from having too many so that he couldn't give them all enough focus, while I had two heavy jacks which I could give enough focus to to ensure they wrecked which ever light jack they were attacking. I discussed the game with my opponent and he said he should have put a couple of heavy jacks in the list, as his lights lacked the strength to dent my heavy jacks enough before they were wrecked.

I wasn't too impressed with the light jacks (especially considering when it was only 1 or 2 pts more for a crusader). I also liked the abilities of the covenant, but I thought I would try using the models I had before I bought too many more models.

Game 2

The following week I was against a Khador list with widowmakers (stealth snipers), supporting them was eiryss, the mercenary that throws bombs. To bring the hitting power was some troll type models with a character. So overall the army was quite small with the expensive combat troops and all the solos and characters.

I liked my crusaders so much I decided to put 3 into the list, at the expense of the repenter and the flameguard unit attachment. The final list was:

Epic Kreoss -6 pt
Crusader 6 pt
Crusader 6 pt
Crusader 6 pt
Temple Flameguard (Leader & 9 Grunts) 6 pt
Exemplar Errants (Leader & 5 Grunts) 5 pt
Exemplar Bastions (Leader & 4 Grunts) 8 pt
Reclaimer 2 pt
Choir (Leader & 3 Grunts) 2 pt

This game I had to run at the enemy being snipered by the widowmakers. Luckily Kreoss had the spell that if you killed a model in the unit you were knocked down which stopped the widowmakers moving away if they wanted to fire and stopped a character the enemy had from firing twice if he stayed still to get the aiming bonus.

However once I got accross the board the window makers died to combined melee attacks from the remaining flameguard. The enemy combat units were also outnumbered and eventually dragged down by crusaders and bastions.

This game I really lacked any shooting power and facing such a shooty force showed me that I might need to add some firepower to have a more balanced force. I also loved the bastions ability to spread damage, it can keep models in combat from dying by spreading the damage to other models further away from combat or you can just let the models in combat range die to waste the opponents attacks, in my case the front two bastions had been charged by two enemy models, so I let them both die from the first model's attacks by first spreading the damage to other other one and then letting the first one die to the second hits, meaning the other model that had charged the bastions had nothing to kill.

Game Three & Four

For games three and four I decided to drop one of the crusaders to get a min unit of delivers, and with the spare point I increased the choir to 6 models, as a few stray AOEs could easily take out most of the unit and they were essential for buffing the crusaders.

For my third game I played Merc force that spammed AOEs. My first rude awakening was when I advanced forwards ensuring that when my opponent advanced the AOE would still be out of range, only to find out in my opponents shooting phase that AOEs don't automatically miss if they are out of range like in 40k, they just scatter from the maxiumum range.

In the first couple of turns I got a bit lucky with the AOE scatter and didn't lose too many models. The match ended with one crusader smacking some infantry that was next to the other one, allowing the scond crusader to be loaded up with focus from the reclaimer and charge enemy caster and lay the smack down :)

My fourth game was against Circle, my first Hordes opponent. Nasty druids kept pulling my models forwards and backwards. Kreoss' upkeep spell was very useful knocking a few down when they killed flameguard.

The early game changing event was a beast charging my furthest forward bastion. He had an ability to make a full advance after he killed a model (ie. get away from any retribution). After checking the rules I transfered nearly all the damage to the rest of the unit, meaning the beast couldn't get away. One charge from a full focus loaded crusader with choir buff and the beast was dead.

I made a mistake this turn and before I feated and charged the crusader I charged some of the flameguard into another beast that had flamed half the deliverers, so unfortunately they didn't benefit from the feat and didn't do much damage.

Late game, I'd killed most of the infantry and 2 beasts were dead, and still had quite a sizable army left. Unfortunately I strayed to close to the action with my caster, and the druids shot him and dragged him forwards to be charged by an unwounded heavy beast. Even though he'd camped most of his focus, after the attacks I only had 5 hit points left. Counter charging with a crusader and attacking with kreoss failed to kill it.

Note that I had fogotten that Kreoss could do a special action attack that would push the beast back so I could have put models between Kreoss and the beast.

Next turn the beast did the final few hit points and I lost. Point to learn is always be careful of your caster, particularly around units that can move opponents models.

I also made a couple of more mistakes. I left the delivers too far forwards and a beast was able to move forwards and flame most of the unit killing half of them. Better positioning of them would have allowed them to make a much better impact by throwing 5" AOEs into the druids (even though they had stealth such a large AOE would have killed a few). I also left the errants on the right flank away from the action (I was thinking of the mission objective which was to control areas of the battlefield). If they had been able to be more in the action they could easily have helped Kreoss from being killed with their weaponmaster attacks. I think I should concentrate on keeping my caster safe and stopping my opponent from getting the mission objective win above trying to get the mission objective so early.

So far I've had lots of fun playing warmachine, and will definetely be trying to get more games in. Unfortunately the main group of mates I game with are not interested in starting Warmachine, but there's a campaign at my local club which I'm involved in, and a few people in other Berkshire clubs which have started up playing.

The main thing I've learnt is that Menoth is a counter attack army, due to it's slow speed. The cheap flameguard are essential to receive the first enemy attacks. However it is essential that they are not thrown away, and that they are used to ensure that the counter attack is as destructive as possible. If it's timed well and the counter attack is combined with Kreoss' feat it can be game over. However as always you must be careful not to overextend your army in the mopping up process which might put your caster at risk.

What's your thoughts on Warmachine ? Have you got a fraction and what are you thoughts on Menoth ? I've just bought a second fraction, and will be detailing my choice in a future post. What are you favorite fractions, and/or Menoth casters ?


Saturday, 13 November 2010

[Dark Eldar] First Game with New Book

I was expecting to go down to my local club on thursday, but instead I was invited round my mates. I took my Dark Eldar to see how they would fair.

Since I made my initial list, I was thinking of going cheap on the HQ (by using a succubus rather than an archon) so I could fit in an venom, thinking that I could fit the incubi in it. My thinking was that as the HQ would be going with a large squad and the succubus came with a 4+ dodge save it would better to have the extra vehicle as everyone knows how easy Dark Eldar vehicles blow up under fire.

After finding out that the venom could only hold 5 rather than 6 models I decided that a basic raider would be better as I didn't want to reduce the incubi down to 5. So my revised list was:

Succubus - 85

Haemonculus - 55
Venom Blade

6 Incubi - 132
in Raider with Dark Lance and Enhanced Aethersail - 65

9 Wracks - 90
[joined by Succubus]
in Raider with Dark Lance and Enhanced Aethersail - 65

9 Wyches with Champion with Agoniser & Blaster Pistol - 135
[joined by Haemonculus]
in Raider with Dark Lance and Enhanced Aethersail - 65

10 Wyches with Champion with Agoniser & Blaster Pistol - 145
in Raider with Dark Lance and Enhanced Aethersail - 65

10 Wyches with Champion with Venom Blade- 115
in Raider with Dark Lance and Enhanced Aethersail - 65

10 Warriors with Splinter Cannon & Blaster - 115
in Raider with Dark Lance - 60

10 Warriors with Splinter Cannon & Blaster - 115
in Raider with Dark Lance - 60

Ravager with 3 Dark Lances - 105

Ravager with 3 Dark Lances - 105

Talos - 100

Totals: 1742 Pts, 75 models

As I was 8 pts under I gave one of my raiders the ability to tank shock, but it didn't have any effect on the game.

I was playing against a Lysander army that had a drop pod contigent of Lysander with a tactical squad, and 2 dreadnaughts. The troops consisted of the drop podding tactical squad, another tactical squad with a lascannon & a small unit of scouts. These were supported by a landraider full of 5 assault terminators, a vindicator and a whirlwind.

We rolled up kill points, and spearhead deployment, plus I got to go first. On top of that I got the reroll to wound in close combat as the combat drug result. Rather than do a full battle report I'm going to go through the units I used and how I thought they performed.

A quick battle summary is that I lost 12-8 in kill points, when setting up I was careful to have my ravagers completely surrounded by raiders, but when I moved in turn 1 the two back raiders moved away to get shots allowing both dreadnaughts to deepstrike behind the ravagers on turn one. One went down then and the second shortly afterwards. Losing 6 dark lances early really hampered my tank killing (especially with 2 dreadnaughts in my lines).

So my first learning for the new codex compared to the old codex is the significant difference in the distribution of the dark lances. Before I had 9 dark lances spread between 6 infantry units, now in 5th edition vehicles are much tougher to kill so require more dark lances to destroy, plus nearly half my dark lances are concentrated in 2 armour 11 open topped vehicles so they must be hidden and protected as much as possible. Although I still use a talos (as I have a nicely converted model) it may be time for me to assemble a 3rd ravager, plus although the splinter cannons were nice on the warrior squads I'll have to spend the extra points to get extra dark lances. Doing both these chances would increase the dark lance total from 13 to 18.

Unit Performances

Succusbus: She didn't get an opportunity to shine, as when her raider was blown up she failed the pinning test and so her and her unit of wracks was charged by assault terminators the following turn. An archon or special character would have faired just as bad because even if they survived the attacks they would also have run away with the last 3 members of the squad and never been able to rally.

Wracks: These had the same fate as the succubus, so I'll to give them another try, but I did like the pain token they came with. I decided to start the succubus with the wracks and the haemonoculus with a wych squad so they both benefited from Feel No Pain, but I think I will have them swap on turn one. By embarking on their raider on turn one it does stop the raider going flat out, but with the Enhanced Sails I will still be able to go 12+2D6" if I don't mind not firing the dark lance.

Wyches: With the combat drug reroll to wound these girls did great. One unit went and wiped out the scouts and then sat in the ruin with Feel No Pain. Another unit with the haemonoculus survived more shooting than usual due to Feel No Pain, and then they charged the 3 remaining terminators and killed them. The last unit was charged by a unit of 6 tactical marines, and eventually killed them after a few turns, mainly due to the agoniser being able to reroll to wound which made the weapon absolutely disgusting.

Seeing how useful certain combat drug rolls are, I'm even tempted to use the Duke so I can roll 2D6 and pick which option I want to use.

The only thing that didn't seem worth it for the wyches was the blast pistols which I didn't fire at all. When your flimsy raider is blown up, normally the wychs fleet to get to cover or combat as soon as possible.

Warriors: These did ok, it was nice to rapid fire at a combat squad of approaching marines and say 1 blaster shot and then 22 poison shots, but I don't think the splinter cannon adds much, and it may be better to spend the extra points for a dark lance. However I loved the extra range on the blaster, as it was great to be able to fire it while being out of assault range.

Incubi: These went forward behind the wyches. The turn after the wyches got charged they tried to help out, but failed their differcult terrain role. The following turn the vindicator tank shocked them and placed itself so that they would have to take a long detour round to the other side of the building to get up it, so instead they charged the stationery whirlwind that was in my opponent's far corner. After immobolising it and taking the weapon off on the charge it took them until turn 5 to kill it. Unfortunately this left them open for a vindicator shot which killed all but one. However they passed their morale test so they didn't give away a kill point.

An alternative use for them could have been to act as a mobile reserve to combat the tactical squad that was coming down in a drop pod. I will definetely keep the incubi in the list as their are some units (such as marines with Feel No Pain) that would strug off any non-power weapon attacks. The fact they have fleet now also extends their threat range compared to the previous incarnation. I'll keep them at 6 strong for the moment, and consider upping them to 7 or 8, but I won't reduce them to 5 to fit in a Venom as I think that's too small to have much of an impact (plus having a raider allows a character to join them).

Ravagers: These died early, but losing them early showed how important they are in adding anti-tank firepower to the list. Even though the talos had a good game (see below) I'm thinking that ravagers are too essential and therefore having 3 would be better.

Talos: Even without any upgrades to make him better the talos showed what it can do. It moved forwards first turn, then charged back against one of the dreadnaught's drop pods and killed it. Then after Lysander and a tactical squad dropped in nearby it charged the combat squad that Lysander wasn't attached to, and killed it just before Lysander killed the Talos. If there wasn't a character such as Lysander around to kill it, the Talos could could easily have taken the other combat squad as well. It really seems a shame to say goodbye to such a nice model that has killed so many MEQs and TMCs in it's time, but the extra firepower of a 3rd ravager seems too important.

Raiders: Even with the new damage tables of 5th these still go down very quickly, just not quite as quickly as 4th edition. After 6 turns I did have one alive, and having a 3rd ravager around to draw firepower and playing slightly better with them may mean I have one or two left for the late game objective contesting that Eldar armies are so well known for. Especially as most of my raiders go a minimum of 26" and a maximum of 36" at max speed.

So losing the blast pistols from the list I have 38 points to spend. An easy change would be to upgrade the talos to a ravager and upgrade the splinter cannons to dark lances.

Another option I'm considering is upgrading one of the wych units to a Bloodbride unit (30 pts), and to get the 6th troop choice back swap one of the warrior squads' raiders for 6 wracks.

For my first idea I'll have to go back to painting table (I haven't painted any dark eldar in at least 3 years). Luckily I have a spare raider on sprues, but I'm scouring ebay for one of the old ravagers :)

Have you seen the Dark Eldar in action yet, what are you thoughts on army make-up that will work ? What do you think of mine ?


Sunday, 7 November 2010

[Tau] Starsmash Tournament Day Two - Game Four (Complete)

So after a very disappointing first day at the Starsmash tournament, it was back to try and get some pride (and with a little luck a mid table placing).

A quick recap of day one was:
  • massacred by deamons (to many very very fast cavalry/beasts models)
  • lost on the bottom table to demons (won on vps by about 1000, but ran out of troops, not helped by some bad playing decisions from me)
  • finally got a win against an outflanking khan marine list

Scenario and Deployment

This game had the second of two new scenarios created for this tournament, normal deployment, and the game started with only one objective on the board (placed in the exact centre of the board). The interesting twist was that when the each side's most expensive HQ and two most expensive troop choices died (or ran off the board) they would drop an objective.

I was up against another marine army (normally a good sign for my Tau). The list I was facing was a balanced affair with the only weakness being only three small troop choices (abiet mech-ed up):

Libby with Null Zone and Ap3 Flamer power
5 Assault Terminators in a Standard Landraider
3 units of 5 marines in razorbacks
2 landspeeders with multi-melta and heavy flamer
1 landspeeder with heavy bolter and typhoon missiles
2 vindicators

Now Tau hate only one objective missions, as you can't split the enemy up, as a sensible opponent will have the majority of his army going for the objective. At first look the extra objectives that could be dropped might not help too much as Tau can easily de-mech and kill 5 marines, however they normally do it at a distance which means the objective they drop would just be claimed by another of the troop choices.

I would have to play differently. I would have to try to lure the troops choices to engage me, and leave killing them till they have advanced enough for me to grab the objective, also care sacrificing of a kroot unit could give me another objective.

I won the roll off for table side and first turn and promptly gave the choice of table side and first turn to my opponent.

He set up in the middle as far forward as possible with the landraider flanked by the two vindicators. The three rhinos were deployed behind them with the libby in the middle rhino. The missile landspeeder deployed centrally far back while the other two decided to deepstrike with such juicy targets as kroot to flame and hammerheads to pop.

It appeared that he favoured my right hand flank a bit from his deployment, from the deployment of his landspeeder, and this was probably due to the fact there was more terrain there. In the top right hand corner he had a forest, half way up the table on the far right hand side there was another forest, and 12" to the right of middle of the table just inside his side of the table there was the huge Temple of Skulls scenery piece (see pic) which would give good cover for his vehicles from my missile pod toting crisis suits.
There was a forest in my bottom left hand quadrant and that area of the board had the best LOS for long range railguns shots therefore I put a unit of kroot in the forest (well half the unit so I could go to ground for a 2+ cover save). The broadsides were placed on the left flank as far forward and left as possible with the aim of walking up the flank slinging railguns slugs into things. In that corner I also placed the railgun hammerhead and the full unit of fireknife crisis suits. This corner was a lure to hopefully fall back, eventually sacrifice the kroot to drop an objective and then annihilate any remaining enemy to allow a reserved unit of kroot to walk on and take an objective.

In the middle of my deployment zone there were some craters, into which I placed the pathfinders as far back as possible. On their own they would die, but had good LOS to sight to all the enemy armour and there was nothing else nearby if the enemy wanted to assault them.

In the right hand corner I placed the ion cannon hammerhead, with the pathfinder devilfish next in. About 20" in from the right flank there was a building, so I placed the missile pod and burst cannon suits on the right side of it, and my commander and two freknifes behind it.

The fire warriors and second unit of kroot went into reserve.

This could be an almost impossible mission for me. If my opponent only advanced to the middle objective and sat there. He could claim the middle objective, and even if I killed one of his troop choices the objective would just be claimed by one of the others. By going to ground behind the wreaks of his vehciles I doubt I could wipe out his entire army so I could get one of my fragile troops up the board to get to the objective. I had to appear weak, so he would continue to advance on me.

Turn One to Four

I failed to seize the initiative, and the marine armoured column moved 12" forwards, with the left hand vindicator heading slightly left (it didn't want side armour shots). The rhino with the libby stayed right behind the landraider and the other two veered slightly right to sit behind the Temple of Skulls. The landspeeder dropped a crisis suit drone, but a contender for shot of the match went to one of the razorback crews who spoted part of the ion cannon hammerhead with it's lascannon, hit > pen > failed d.pod save > explosion from the first shot of the match :) The Tau had to have a response to that.

The pathfinders lit up the landraider, and 3 railguns slugs from the broadsides later and it was a wreck. I couldn't complain but I could really have done with an explosion as now the rhino behind it was completely hidden for the moment, and would probably stay there until it moved over the wreckage to get the objective on turn 5.

The terminators were given some missile pod love and luckily one of the brutes fell over dead. Missile pods from the right flank immobolised and stunned the landspeeder plus stopped the right hand vindicator from firing.

The marines turn two started with the terminators advancing on the left hand flank and the vindicator preparing to fire on the kroot (the only unit in range). The libby and squad in a rhino stayed behind the landraider wreckage, and the other two moved right going round the temple of skulls.

A landspeeder tried to deepstrike to flame the kroot, but mishapped and died. To add insult to injury the vindicator on the left flank scatter and didn't even kill a kroot. On the right flank the devilfish's d.pods decided to work unlike the hammerheads and survived the razorbacks shots.

The missile pods on the far right flank started shooting at the immobolised landspeeder, now there was no cover but the crisis suits only managed to destroy the landspeeder in the last turn of the game.

With the help of markerlights the vindicator on the left flank was destroyed, and the one to the right of the landraider wreck was immolised and had the cannon blown off, leaving it a bumper car with a storm bolter :)

Crisis suit and kroot fire wittled the terminators down to 2 (in hind sight 3 left would have been better). Moving the hammerhead and crisis suits aggressivily forward toward the terminators, and then putting the kroot in the way I was hoping the pull the terminators into charging the kroot (I badly needed an objective I would get).

The shas'el and fireknifes on the right didn't really know what to do with themselves, they could start killing the marines on that flank until they were seperated and closer to me, otherwise the second unit would claim an objective if the first died so fired at the vindicator only stunning it.

At the start of the marine's third turn the last melta/flamer speeder deepstriked for the pathfinders after seeing what it was doing to the broadsides, lady luck smiled on me and it scattered right off the board to never return (a second destroyed result on the mishap table).

The libby's rhino once again stayed still, but the next one along to the right sped right over the temple straight at the Tau lines, the rhino furthest right advanced around the temple (to the right). At this point I think my opponent should have pulled back to the centre objective, but he had been taking a pounding and probably thought if he could just reach combat.

The terminators (2 left) were within range of the kroot and charged in (nothing much happened in the shooting phase); then it all started to go weird...

...the kroot killed one of the terminators before they struck, but luckily the remaining terminator killed two kroot, however the plucky kroot passed their morale test. The nearby crisis suit unit with plasma rifles at the ready were not expecting that. Even the fire warriors who had come on from reserve in that corner only after being promised that there was no threat over there were a little worried. They thought all they had to do was stay low and pick up an objective the kroot should be dropping soon.

All I could do in my turn was decide where was the best place for the crisis suits to be charged (which was away from the hammerhead, near my table edge towards the centre). In my shooting missile pods and railguns failed to kill the rhino with smoke that had come crashing over the temple of skulls :( In my combat phase the kroot luckily didn't kill the last terminator who cut down 2 more kroot and they broke. The terminator consolidated next to the kroot (ready to charge the crisis suits and stop the kroot from rallying). The terminator then charged the crisis suits (still staying in range to stop the kroot rallying)...

[crisis suit channel communcation extract]

Shas'el Rathstar: I understand team leader, hold the terminator off so the kroot can escape, they will be dropping a package for the fire warriors to pick up later.

Fireknife Team Leader: Shas'el Rathstar we have eliminated the enemy, our combat drone distracted the enemy by using the same technique the kroot used to kill one earlier, and I was able to dispatch him.

Shas'el Rathstar: WTF !! Are the kroot still disengaging, after all, they have taken significant casulties ?

Fireknife Team Leader: They have been inspired by our combat prowess and are staying in the fight. I could get used to this close combat :)

Shas'el Rathstar: Drat and Double Drat, #@^%££% !!!

[end of communication extract]

Tau overperforming in close combat losing me an easy objective - Damn.

On the otherside of the field the marines in the middle continued forwards and hopped out of their rhino to rapid fire the pathfinders, and along with casulties from the vindicators storm bolters the remaining pathfinders decided they had done enough and left the field.

The Tau response was quick. The disembarked marines were killed leaving an objective 10" from my table edge. the rhino on the right flank was immobolising effectively leaving the squad out in no mans land. If they got out they would die, but I wouldn't have anything to claim any objective may drop.

The devilfish on the left flank had moved along my board edge behind the building the shas'el started behind, but unfortunately immobolised itself trying to leave the terrain (there wasn't space behind the building to completely fit the devilfish). The second unit of kroot who had come on a turn earlier and hid in the devilfish were forced to get out to get the objective dropped by the destroyed marines. However by putting most of the unit in the building they were happy to go to ground for a 3+ cover save if they took fire.

So moving into the marines turn 5 the Tau were 1-0 up (should be 2-0 - stupidily brave kroot and terminator killing crisis suits). However the libby and a marine squad were in a rhino behind the landraider wreck inches from gaining the middle objective.

Turns Five

[after a brief break, due to real life getting in the way (2 job interviews plus other stuff) here is the rest of the battle report]

The rhino in the centre with the libby, moved into the wreak of the landraider (didn't immobolise itself) leaving the front of the rhino just touching the objective. The libby and marines couldn't dare getting out of the rhino and facing the Tau firepower, so the razorback just popped smoke. The other marine squad in an immobolised rhino on the right flank stayed put.

Storm bolter shots (from the vindicator) took off a crisis suit drone, and the lascannon from the right hand rhino took off another drone.

My opponent had forgot one of the most dangerous contesting units in the Tau arsenal, yes the magnificant discs of doom. As soon as I moved my two disembarked devilfish drones my opponent realised his mistake.

Because he realised my plan I was worried that if I blew up the rhino the disembarked marines would stop the drones from getting within 3" of the objective. In hindsight this was wrong, because if I exploded it the marines would have to deploy within the wreakage, and even if I just wrecked the rhino they would have to be within 2" of the door which would not have stopped the drones from being within 3" of my side of the objective.

Due to my wrong assumption I did not fire on the rhino, but moved up with both my shas'el and his unit of two crisis suits, plus the unit of fireknifes on the left.

The drones ran and assault moved to within 3" of the objective. I am currently winning 1-0 on objectives, and the dice is rolled to see if the game continues...

...The game goes on :(

Turn Six

The rhino with the libby in moves forwards onto my side of the board to try and stop any contesting trickery in my next turn. The rhino positions itself pointing towards the bottom left hand corner of the board, with the side exit about 2" from the objective on my side. Now if I kill the rhino the marines inside will definitely be able to deploy to stop me contesting the objective.

The libby decides it is time to do something, so he disembarks on is own out of the right hand exit, and uses his psyhic power to flame the two drones.

All is not lost I think, because if the left hand unit of fireknifes sacrifices their shooting they can make it to contest the objective, which they promtly do. As I can't dare shoot the rhino everything that can see the libby (all apart from the broadsides and the missile/burst crisis suits still firing at the immobolised landspeeder) open up on him (he's not getting a cover save from any of it). After a railgun, 2 rapid firing plasma rifles, 2 missile pods, and a cyclic ion blaster later the dust clears...

...and he's still alive !! Not to worry I'm 1-0 up on objectives, so we roll the dice to see of the game continues...

Turn Seven

The libby runs round the rhino as assaults the crisis suits contesting the objective (the same crisis suits which killed a terminator earlier). The marines in the rhino in the middle stay hiding in their rhino, and the rhino and marines on the right flank also do nothing.

The crisis suits are unable to repeat their performance in close combat and lose to the libby put stay in combat, unfortunately they have been pulled away from the objective by the combat.

1-1 on objectives going into the final Tau turn.

I was too cautious with the shas'el's unit, and they a bit further back than they should have been, but if the shas'el leaves them and runs he may have enough movement to jump over the rhino to contest the objective. Again I have so many guns looking at the rhino but can't dare fire at it, because it's unlikely that I'd be able to kill all 5 marines as well. I so wish I had taken the chance in turn 5 and blown up the rhino.

My shas'el runs a pitiful 3", and with his 6" assault phase jump he is millimetres from clearing the both the rhino and the immolises vindicator by the required 1", so the game ends in a draw.

Tau losses:

Ion Cannon hammerhead
Devilfish was immobolised
Few kroot and few drones
Two crisis suits from the unit in combat with the libby

Marines survivers:

2 units of 5 marines in razorback
an immolised and cannon-less vindicator

A disappointing loss, but I did make some dire mistakes that I only remembered while I was writing up this battle report.

1) I should have killed the middle rhino on turn 5
2) On turn 6 I should have killed the immobolised vindicator (it may have allowed my shas'el to make the jump to the objective
3) I shouldn't have been so cautious with the shas'el (the marines couldn't risk engaging them or they would leave the objective)
4) The hammerhead on the left should have been as aggressive as the fireknifes so it could have contested on turn 6 and/or 7.
5) All these mistakes were due to me concentrating on getting the winning position at the end of the current turn, and not planning for if the game continued

I only have myself to blame, and the overly brave kroot, the terminator killing crisis suits, and the game not ending on either turn 5 or 6 :( We can only live and learn :)



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