This friday I faced Ivan and his Tau forces on the battle field, in what would become a weather the storm type of battle in all probability.
Now, there are some things about the Tau...
Fact 1: for some reason, over all of the editions, I never faced them myself before, so this was a first experience
Fact 2: I fielded an army made to battle Space Marines, so not optimal for battling a shooty force with barely any close combat troops.
Fact 3: Luckily, I knew he is a battlesuit style player, so no ranks of pulse rifles at least to decimate my lines.
And with that knowledge, I was ready to face them in my first game after the huge battle from the end of May...
The Tau forces opposing me consisted of a Coldstar Commander, two Ghostkeel suits, a squad of 6 markerdrones and 2 units of 3 battlesuits each, one with burst cannons and one with plasma rifles.
My force was led by a winged demon princess, a sorcerer, a squad of noise marines, two units of cultists, a havoc squad with 2 autcannons and 2 heavy bolters, a rapier Laser Destroyer and a Helbrute with plasma cannon and missile launcher.
The scenario rolled was Contact Lost, in which we would get a fresh objective card every turn, and the table was set up, objectives placed. As I couldn't seize the intititative, the Tau went first.
The plasma squad of battlesuits was in orbit in their manta, so the rest of the force used the Farsight skill that they could advance and shoot normally, coming forward just a little bit. The Ghostkeel on the left opened up on the helbrute but only caused a single wound, while the cultists in the centre lost 8 of their number to burst fire, while the Havoc squad was decimated to a single autocannon marine. And that was it as the Tau had a rather average round of shooting.
I responed by sending the demon princess forward to take on his commander. My firing eliminated the burst cannon team first, reducing his greater good ability for the upcoming charge. The rest of my firing wasn't that effective, doing a few wounds on one of the ghostkeels. But the first VP was scored as First Blood was drawn.
Under the influence of the Diabolic Strength the princess charged into the commander, and ripped him to pieces. This scored me another point, but the Kingslayer roll came up on a 5, netting me 3 more points.
At the end of the first turn, it stood 5 - 0 for the Emperor's Children as such.
His second turn saw the arrival of the other Crisis suits behind my lines. His firing hurt the second cultist squad, as well as the Noise Marines a good deal. The right Ghostkeel, flying out of the consolidation from the demon, fired his flamers on the cultists and his raker hurt but not finish the Rapier. The left Ghostkeel reduced the Helbrute to a single wound. Ivan scored his first point as such for having troops in my deployment zone.
My second turn saw me pull out the demon princess and camp her on objective 5, which would give me 2 points should she stay there for 2 turns. The rest of the force moved into combat range for those pesky fusion suits, while the cultists surrounded the Ghostkeel. In a not so effective psychic phase, the only thing of note was that the demon princess smited three drones.
My firing didn't do that much, some wounds of the Ghostkeel and reducing the battlesuit squad a bit. The Noise Marines charged in on them next, just as all the cultists, who saw a unit almost wiped due to overwatch charged one Ghostkeel, and the ramshackle wreck of a Helbrute the other one.
Combat went as suspected, as the Noise Marines made short work of the battlesuits bar one, while the cultists achieved nothing, as did the Helbrute.
And so the second round ended at a 5 - 1 score.
Turn three would turn out to become the last one, as all his suits moved out of combat. He finished off the last Havoc in his shooting phase, while the other Ghostkeel finished my Helbrute. With his two remaining suits on the left flank back to back, and the Ghostkeel on the other side more or less okay and running around, this might not be as easy in the bag as I hoped.
My third turn saw the Noise Marines advanced to the two suits, while the Sorcerer went to camp on an objective to defend it for the next two turns. The cultists parked on one as well, but this one only needed to be held for a single turn.
Boosted by Prescience and using the Endless Cacaphony stratagem, the Nosie Marines finished off the battlesuit first, and the Ghostkeel, who after a smite was down to one wound, afterwards. The Noises charged the lone Stealthdrone as well in a sadistic display of ripsy-a-partsy...
This resulted in me scoring two points for the demon princess and one for the cultists on their respective objectives, and bringing the score to 8-1.
At this point Ivan yielded, as he now had a single Ghostkeel with 6 wounds left, ready to be chased by a demon princess and two smite casting characters, while two extra points would be added by my sorcerer should we play a fourth turn.
So we added a point each for being in each others deployment zone, and the end result became 9 - 2, victory to the pink phalanx!
Now what I learned is that Ghostkeels, with their stealth drones, are damn irritating buggers. For man of the match I'm torn between on the one hand the demon princess, who managed to score 7 out of the 9 points I gathered on her own, or the Noise Marines for the sheer amount of firepower they throw out. And if there is one thing I love, it's lots of firepower...
Unless I manage to arrange a game the 10th, my next opponent will be Mike and his Orks near the end of august, so time to overthrow the list and build it in a totally different direction...
The War That Never Was
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