Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Battle Report: Imperial Guard vs. Tau

by SandWyrm


I went down to Louisville a few weeks ago and had a game with Daedalus Nix. He wanted to face my 2K tournament list, and I was more than happy to get the practice in against his Tau.

Unfortunately for both of us, it was a bit of a seal beating. Daedalus had what I thought was a quite good 2K list (based on some of Stelek's ideas). But he didn't have enough experience to use it's power properly. I think Daedalus's favorite part of the game was our discussion afterwards where I described how I would have deployed and moved his forces in his place. He was really quite thankful for the help!

So in that spirit, I'm going to take you though our battle and describe what I would have done differently.

First up though, here's his list:
 
HQ

    * Commander (132pts)
        Hard-Wired Multi-Tracker (5pts), Hard-Wired Target Lock (5pts), Missile Pod (12pts), Plasma Rifle (20pts), Shas'el (50pts), Targetting Array (10pts)
        * Hard-Wired Drone Controller (30pts)
            2x Shield Drone (30pts)

Elites

    * XV8 'Crisis' Battlesuit Team (124pts)
        * Shas'ui (62pts)
            Missile Pod (12pts), Multi-Tracker (5pts), Plasma Rifle (20pts)
        * Shas'ui (62pts)
            Missile Pod (12pts), Multi-Tracker (5pts), Plasma Rifle (20pts)

    * XV8 'Crisis' Battlesuit Team (124pts)
        * Shas'ui (62pts)
            Missile Pod (12pts), Multi-Tracker (5pts), Plasma Rifle (20pts)
        * Shas'ui (62pts)
            Missile Pod (12pts), Multi-Tracker (5pts), Plasma Rifle (20pts)

    * XV8 'Crisis' Battlesuit Team (118pts)
        * Shas'ui (53pts)
            Missile Pod (12pts), Missile Pod Twin-Linked (6pts)
            * Drone Controller (10pts)
                Gun Drone (10pts)
        * Team Leader - Shas'ui (55pts)
            Fusion Blaster (12pts), Missile Pod (12pts), Missile Pod Twin-Linked (6pts)
        * Team Leader (10pts)
            Hard-Wired Multi-Tracker (5pts)

Troops

    * Fire Warrior Team (145pts)
        6x Pulse Rifle, 6x Shas'la (60pts)
        * Devilfish (85pts)
            Disruption Pod (5pts), Gun Drones

    * Fire Warrior Team (60pts)
        6x Pulse Rifle, 6x Shas'la (60pts)

    * Fire Warrior Team (145pts)
        6x Pulse Carbine, 6x Shas'la (60pts)
        * Devilfish (85pts)
            Disruption Pod (5pts), Gun Drones

    * Kroot Carnivore Squad (70pts)
        10x Kroot (70pts)

    * Kroot Carnivore Squad (70pts)
        10x Kroot (70pts)

Fast Attack

    * Pathfinder Team (157pts)
        6x Pathfinders (72pts)
        * Devilfish (85pts)
            Disruption Pod (5pts), Gun Drones

    * Piranha Light Skimmer Team (225pts)
        * Piranha (75pts)
            Disruption Pod (5pts), Fusion Blaster (5pts), Targetting Array (5pts)
        * Piranha (75pts)
            Disruption Pod (5pts), Fusion Blaster (5pts), Targetting Array (5pts)
        * Piranha (75pts)
            Disruption Pod (5pts), Fusion Blaster (5pts), Targetting Array (5pts)

Heavy Support

    * Hammerhead Gunship (175pts)
        Disruption Pod (5pts), Multi-Tracker (10pts), Railgun (50pts), Smart Missile System (20pts)

    * Hammerhead Gunship (175pts)
        Disruption Pod (5pts), Multi-Tracker (10pts), Railgun (50pts), Smart Missile System (20pts)

    * XV88 Broadside Battlesuit Team (278pts)
        * Team Leader - Shas'Ui (80pts)
            Smart Missile System, Targetting Array (10pts)
        * Team Leader (38pts)
            Hard-Wired Blacksun Filter (3pts)
            * Hard-Wired Drone Controller (30pts)
                2x Shield Drone (30pts)
        * Shas'Ui (80pts)
            Smart Missile System, Targetting Array (10pts)
        * Shas'Ui (80pts)
            Smart Missile System, Targetting Array (10pts)
Total: 1998 Points

It's not quite the list I would have taken in his place, but it's certainly competitive enough to give me fits in the right hands. He should be winning the majority of his games with it.

Here's my list:
    HQ
150    Company Command Squad w/3 x Melta, Reg. Standard, Officer of the Fleet, Chimera
70    Primaris Psyker
   
    Troops
155    Veteran Squad w/3 x Melta, Chimera
155    Veteran Squad w/3 x Melta, Chimera
155    Veteran Squad w/3 x Melta, Chimera
140    Veteran Squad w/3 x Grenade Launcher, Chimera
145    Veteran Squad w/3 x Grenade Launcher, Grenadiers, Demolitions
145    Veteran Squad w/3 x Grenade Launcher, Grenadiers, Demolitions
   
    Fast Attack
130    Vendetta Gunship
130    Vendetta Gunship
130    Hellhound w/Hull Heavy Flamer
   
    Heavy Support
165    Leman Russ Demolisher w/Hull Heavy Flamer
150    Leman Russ Battle Tank w/Hull Heavy Flamer
150    2 Hydras

Total: 2000 Points
This was a straight-up test of the army I talked about this article, where I described the changes I was making in order to deal with the new Grey Knights. Which is why you'll see the odd unpainted figure and half-done Hydra conversions. :)


The Mission

We rolled up a mission from the 2011 NOVA packet. The primary objective was Kill Points. The Secondary was Table Quarters, and the Tertiary was Objectives (5). Deployment was Dawn of War.


The Battlefield

Pet Shop Comics was pretty dead when we got there. Then we found out that they were doing inventory over in the gaming half of the store. Which was closed for the night!

Fortunately, they did have one table set up in the back of the sales side that we could use. A Realm of Battle board with a small box full of terrain for us to choose from. The terrain wasn't ideal from the standpoint of LOS-blocking, but we took what we could get.


Here's the terrain layout that we settled on, with objectives set out.


Deployment

I rolled first turn, so it was up to me to set up first. Looking at the terrain, here's how I expected to Daedalus and I to deploy and move our forces onto the table.


The layout of the terrain was such that there was really only one place I could move the majority of my tanks on without risking difficult terrain checks. While he had much more flexibility with his skimmers.

So (IMO) an experienced Tau general would want to bottle me into that left corridor and tear me apart at range. Hence, I expected to get Piranhas and Devilfish moving forward to block my advances, while his big guns hugged the table edge. The Crisis Suits would deploy on the same side as my advance to chew me up. With a planned escape to the middle of the table if I got within melta distance.

Then, late game, he would (I thought) move up his surviving Kroot and Fire Warriors to seize table quarters and/or objectives from me.


As the IG, I wanted to delay and distract the Tau long enough to get my Chimeras into the fight and sweep the board.


As the Tau, I would want to block the IG's Chimeras into the corner using my superior mobility and use my long range firepower advantage to plink them from afar. That's the theory anyhow.

I deployed the 2 blocking Vet squads.



One in the center to restrict how close he could get to me at deployment and threaten his skimmers with melta bombs.


And one on my near-left objective to free up more of my Chimeras to move forward.


Daedalus then put a unit of Kroot over on his left flank. Personally I would have infiltrated them somewhere more useful or just kept them in reserve. My IG are not an assault army.


And another unit of Kroot + his Commander on his right. I believe he put the Commander in that unit to keep them from running away if I shot at them.


Turn 1


Daedalus seized the initiative. Oh boy. :)


Hmmnnn... Not what I expected. Both of his Hammerheads are over on the left. Which isn't such a bad idea, but his Crisis suits are too spread out. He's got one unit over in the middle where they won't be in range of very much, aside from the infantry I have on the center objective. That small squad is really distracting him!

Worst of all though, his Piranhas are on his left flank instead of moving into the center, where they could then zoom up on turn 2 to bottle up my Chimeras. 


Things aren't so bad over on his right though. These Devilfish could be used for blocking and controlling my line-of-sight to his Crisis Suits.


Daedalus could still salvage his sub-optimal deployment by zooming those Piranhas to the right of the center terrain and moving the other Devilfish (sans Fire Warriors) up 7".

He also made a huge mistake by popping all his drones. Which is a no-no in a kill point game, as the new Tau FAQ says that drones don't count as a kill point unless they disembark before the vehicle carrying them is destroyed.

When I asked him about the Drones later, he said that he was used to popping them to help with blocking. But as I had no assault troops, this didn't make sense, as they can't do squat to vehicles. Neither did he have enough of them to keep my Vets from assaulting his transports. So all he was really doing was giving me a lot of small units to kill for points.

Anyhow, he stood still and shot everything he had into my center blocking squad.


They go-to-ground for a 3+ cover save and only a few die.


End of turn Daedalus's first turn.


Time for me to move on. The Hydras are gonna scare him, so I put them on my right flank to bait the Piranhas. My Vanilla Russ goes in the center where it can hit Crisis Suits pretty much anywhere. The Chimeras (smoked) come in as fast as they can towards his line.

I kill a few infantry here and there and pop a Piranha; knocking the weapon off of another. But my turn is pretty underwhelming.


Daedalus moves up his 2 remaining Piranhas and whiffs their shooting at my Vendetta.


He kills another guy in the center and immobilizes my Russ. But that's about it.


"Still here!"


My Hellhound moves up and kills a few Kroot.


My Vendetta on the right shakes a Hammerhead.


Turn 2


My Vendetta on the right drops to a shot from the un-shaken Hammerhead.


My Hellhound (behind the center terrain) gets shaken and stirred, but still lives somehow. It's drawing all his markerlights away from everything else. My center squad is still drawing way too much attention. Daedalus is also pouring most of his railgun shots into my Vanilla Russ, which has cover and makes all of it's saves. He should be shooting at my Chimeras instead.


My own firing is sort of meh. The Hydras are only damaging his Pirahnas, not wiping them out. But I get them down to just one fusion (melta) blaster, which the odds say I can safely ignore. So I pour fire into his Crisis suits, which are inexplicably in the open forward of everything else. They die.


I'm now in range to start doing some damage with my Chimeras. So I continue hitting his Crisis Suits as hard as I can. I pour some multi-laser shots into Daedalus's Broadsides, but he puts the wounds on his shield drones (4+ invul) instead of his suits (2+ save). This is a mistake, as once he loses those drones, he's going to eat battle cannons and lascannons. The odds (and long-term consequences) are much better with putting the wounds the Broadsides.

(Correction, courtesy of MVBrandt. Shield drones always have the same save as their owning unit.)

Daedalus gets smart though and starts using his Devilfish to block my line of sight. Limiting what I can do. I get a good taste of how hard it would be to crack Tau in the hands of a more experienced player.


Those Hammerheads should be taking out my Hydras and moving to his left to get long range shots on my bottled up Chimeras (and side shots on the Russ). But they stay put.


Turn 3


Daedalus moves his Piranhas forward towards my Hydras and whiffs their single melta roll (as the odds say you should expect). I do lose one Hydra to a Hammerhead.



The Hellhound finally blows up. Daedalus is playing peek-a-boo with his last Crisis Suit. He also, inexplicably, disembarks his Firewarrior squad on the left and huddles them behind the immobilized Devilfish.

So I move up and start flaming away. I kill all but one Firewarrior in the huddle and take out the last Crisis Suit with the Demolisher. The Devilfish on the right dies to meltas, while the squad inside dies to Heavy Flamers, multi-lasers, and the Primaris Psyker.


The store is closing, and things look dire for the Tau, so we called it quits at the end of turn 3. The final kill point score was 8-2 in my favor. Three of my 8 points were drone squads.

Additional thoughts?

4 comments:

  1. IIRC the Shield Drones on the Broadsides should have had a 2+ save, AND a 4+ invul ... not just a 4+ invul.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't see any mentioning of Drones disembarking from vehicles, thus, they don't count as KPs per the newest Tau FAQ if I believe correctly...

    ReplyDelete
  3. The only thing I would consider chaning in his list is dropping the third firewarrior squad for a 4th piranha to make two squads of 2 and add in more path finders to make it a squad of 8. A decently solid list.

    Some more practice being more aggressively defensive and Daedalus will be doing great.

    Disembarking drones, not using the 2+ armor on the shield drones, not blocking as well, and not keeping things in cover. All mistakes to learn from.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Kai

    He did disembark his drones, all of them. My point was that he shouldn't have.

    ReplyDelete

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