16 November 2011

An old adversary

So... Trond stopped by to play a game the other day. I had been playing around with ArmyBuilder to catalogue the Tau models I had painted up from when I used to play them. A little friendly banter later I found myself having to dig out 2000 points of sci-fishmen from various transport cases and cupboards. I even had to dig around in the cardboard boxes in the storeroom, but I got out enough to field the following list:

Tau Empire army "Mon'tyr Kauyon"


Crisis Team (2)
Stealth Team (5)
Stealth Team (5)

Fire Warriors (10) in Devilfish (SMS++)
Fire Warriors (10) in Devilfish (SMS++)
Kroot(15) with Kroothounds (5)

Sniper Drone Team (1+3) x2
Hammerhead (Railgun+SMS++)
Hammerhead (Railgun+SMS++)

Nothing overly competitive there, but I suppose very little from the Tau Empire codex is considered 'hard' anyway. The more well-versed reader will probably already have noted a distinct lack of 'suits - Crisis and Broadsides both. I don't really care for the way they look, and never got around to ordering the Forgeworld variants in stead.

Trond was bringing a pretty typical Eldar list - with one notable exception. (Can anyone spot the missing unit?)


Fire Dragons (5)
Fire Dragons (5)

Dire Avengers (10) in Wave Serpent
Storm Guardians (10) in Wave Serpent
Pathfinders (5)
Pathfinders (5)

Vypers (3)
Vypers (3)

War Walkers (3)


We rolled up the Annihilation mission (Kill Points) and Dawn of War deployment. Not the ideal set of mission parameters, but you've just got to play the hand you're dealt - right? At least I won the initiative, so I elected to deploy one Devilfish and the Fire Warriors in it as far forward as possible. The transport idled on one side of the Shrine of the Aquilla ruin in the centre of the board and the squad spread out on the other. The idea was to deny Trond as much area as possible, just like I'd done against Ørnulv last week. I Outflanked the Kroot and let the rest come in from my table-edge turn one.

Trond responded by deploying his Pathfinder squads and Reserving everything else. The War Walkers would outflank. This was more of a gamble than what I would have tried, with no Autarchs to boost his Reserves rolls, but he probably had a plan...

Turn one

Under the cover of darkness, I moved the deployed Devilfish back and into cover behind the Shrine ruin and moved/ran the squad to meet it. The rest of my army moved in from my table edge, running as nescessary to try to get into decent fire-positions. The Fire Warriors unit that hadn't deployed move up behind the ruin

Trond didn't have anything coming in, so he just attempted to fire at my re-deploying Fire Warriors. One of the Pathfinder units even spotted them, and killed the last model in the line. The rest of the team passed their Pinning check easily enough.

Turn two

With nothing except the Pathfinders to shoot at, the Tau infantry moved and ran again. Even the Kroot arrived, on my left hand table edge. The deployed Fire Warriors re-embarked in their Devilfish, while the rest of the army tried to close to firing range without leaving cover. Unable to Run, the vehicles that could fired at the Pathfinders and caused enough casualties on one of the squad to make them take - and fail - a Break test. Off the table they went, and I was up a Kill Point.

Three out of the seven Eldar units in Reserves arrived. Both units of Fire Dragons in a Falcon each as well as the Farseer with the Dire Avengers in their Wave Serpent. Trond put them all in on my right flank. As far away from the Tau guns as possible but still within striking distance of a Devilfish. In the shooting phase, the Devilfish was quickly wrecked and the Firewarriors forced outside again.

Turn three

The Tau on my left flank that still couldn't see much besides the remaining Pathfinders spent another turn moving and running (as well as some jumping around in the assault phase). The Kroot spread out to deny as much area as possible on my left flank. The Hammerheads wrecked one of the Falcons and immobilized the other one as retaliation for the Devilfish. A Stealth Suit team that had worked their way up next to the Shrine ruin took the Pathfinders down to three, but this time Trond passed the break test.

The Wave Serpent that came in with the Falcons moved flat out to hide behind the ruin on my right flank just as the Wave Serpent with the Storm Guardians came in alongside one of the Vyper squadrons on my left flank. Trond targeted the Pathfinders' Devilfish with the Wave Serpent and Vypers, and stunned and immobilized it. The War Walkers fired at the Tau Pathfinders in the ruin next to their transport but only managed to kill half of them.

Turn four

With my Pathfinders finally in position, I got so exited about finally getting to use their Markerlights that I'd checked line of sight and fired them at the Wave Serpent before I remembered I'd forgotten to move anything at all. I decided I was in a decent enough position anyway, and could kick myself later. In stead, I used two of the three hits I'd gotten to launch the stunned and immobilised Devilfish's Seeker Missiles - while I still could. Both missiles hit, but I rolled a one and a two to penetrate so they must have been duds. The Kroot remained sationary to fire their rifles. Three hits and then three sixes to penetrate turned into one wreck, one destroyed Scatter Laser and a crew-ignores-stunned. The Crisis team rounded off the phase by blowing the turret off the Wave Serpent next to the Vypers.

The War Walkers and the second Vyper squadron both arrrived this turn. The War Walkers on my left flank behind my Kroot, where I didn't want them, and the Vypers on my right, where I didn't really understand what Trond was trying to achieve. The last few Eldar Pathfinders left their crater and hid out of sight behind the trio of vats next to it. The Wave Serpent with the Farseer and Dire Avengers zoomed further up towards my table edge. The Storm Guardians left their Wave Serpent and moved towards the Kroot, followed by two Vypers. Shooting saw a mere handful of Kroot and a couple of Tau Pathfinders biting the dust, but the Trond declared that the Guardians would forgo shooting to run - and then assault the Devilfish! They also made contact with the Kroot, but unfortunately for the Pathfinders they only managed to kill five of the avians. The Warlock did destroy the Devifish, though didn't manage to blow it up like Trond had hoped. (The evil conniving git that he is!) In return the Kroot killed six Guardians, but Trond passed the Break test.

Turn five

I didn't feel comfortable with the War Walkers in my backyard, so I moved one Pathfinder team and the Shas'O and Crisis team closer to get in range and have clear shots with 'enough' units. With the Hammerheads lending a hand, or rather their Smart Missiles to the job, all three were smoking wrecks before the phase was over. Al other shots were either out of range, had no line of sight or just plain missed. The Kroot wiped out, and settled down to eat, the last of the Guardians.

Probably sensing the battle was drawing to an end, the Farseer and Dire Avengers disembarked and moved towards a nearby Sniper Drone team. The Vypers and Wave Serpent adjusted their position a little and fired a few shots at the remaining Kroot, not even causing enough wounds to meke them take a Break test. The Dire Avengers cut the drones and their controller to oily/bloody pieces in a storm of circular blades.

- + - + - + -

With that, we decided to end the game. Tau were up four kill points (Pathfinders, Falcon, Avengers and War Walkers) to Eldar's three (Two Devilfish and a Sniper Drone team), and it didn't look like they'd be able to catch up anyway.

It was fun dusting off the Tau for once, but I don't think they'll be making a comeback just yet. I do wonder how they'd fare against Ørnulv's UltraGunline though...


  1. A good game, a tactically mistake from the Eldar farseer and as usualle, Jørn has the dice gods on his side. I did the mistake of not gunning my engines and getting deep in Tau territory before beeing stranded or blown to bits, instead I was left in my own deployment and out of range for most of the time. Jørn master the mobility well and when a Tau army can bring it`s weapons to bear, you don`t wanna be on the recieving end. Vypers.... I really don`t know. I feel that they arn`t that good, but they still appeal to me. Warwalkers.... great fire base, but low survivability. Maybe swap them for another Falcon? A bit out of my comfort zone without my trusty warpspiders.... gotta find a way to field them in greater numbers again. supported by two autarchs maybe?? I will not tell, how to beat Jørn and his Tau, since I lost, but there is one weak point that if not taken care of will cause you a lot of pain during the game.....

  2. Interesting game! An old adversary re enters the arena!

    So much to build and paint, and so little time…..! Yes – I am committed to finishing my Ultramarines 1. Company, but I figure it makes sense to se what the new Codex offers before cementing the different builds.

    For a long time I have been thinking of building a Ultramar Planetary defence army (Imperial Guard), however – this report (and almost lost memories) compels me to consider build a Tau army (in blue – of course)….. I therefore hope thei get a new Codex in Q4 2012 ☺


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