Great day of gaming on Saturday. There were 12 of us and we all got to play 3 games each, eat pizza and drink beer.
As I mentioned I ran 3 different lists to try and decide which are the best allies for Tau. What I'm going to do post up three brief battle reports, and then my thoughts on each list.
I decided to use the orks first. I was drawn against a foot slogging eldar list, with a wraith guard deathstar (10 guard backed up by Eldrad and another farseer), a squad of dire avengers, pathfinders, warp spiders, 3 war walkers, harlequins and 2 wraith lords. We played seize ground and vanguard deployment. I had first turn.
I deployed the orks up front, covered by the KFF, with kroot and suits running behind them the idea was to rush the wraith guard with the orks, bog them down, kill everything else with my suits, and preserve the kroot to take objectives.
It worked reasonably well. The rail guns killed the war walkers and wraith lords, the orks killed the harlies (over watch is pretty nasty if you're rolling 40+ dice!), and the death rains dealt with everything else.....except the wraith guard. Fortuned wraith guard are really difficult to kill. It was a draw on objectives, but I got first blood for the win
The army concept worked really well. It's pretty simple. Run the boys at your opponent, while your suits kill stuff, the fire warriors camp the home objective, and the kroot snatch other objectives. Your opponent can not ignore 60 boyz running at him, and while he's killing them, he's not killing your suits. The whole game I lost one suit.
The only problem was the lack of low AP weapons. Need to work some fire knives into the list.
Eldar allies this time. Was drawn against sisters. Two 20 "man" units of sisters, 2 units of seraphim, with St Celestine, unit of mixed crusaders and assassins (with some guy that buffs them, not sure which one), 2 of the organ pipe rocket launcher thingies. Played the Scouring, vanguard deployment, and my opponent got first turn.
My opponents tactics were obvious I thought. He only had 2 scoring units and they couldn't combat squad, so he was really forced to camp 2 objectives, and rush me with the seraphim, while pounding me with the organ pipes. There was little chance of me chewing through two 20 man units with 3+ saves, so I would have to concede 2 objectives, but that left 3 others. But I might struggle to put down both squads of seraphim before they got to me.
So I castle up on one objective and infiltrate one kroot squad all by itself on another one. I reserve the other kroot squad and the jet bikes. The hope was that he will be tempted to send one seraphim squad after the infiltrating kroot and rush my castle with the other, plus the crusaders. I assumed he would put one squad of sisters on each of the objectives on his side. I would hopefully kill the one seraphim squad and the crusaders, before it got to the gunline, and then snatch the 2 other objectives with the outflanking kroot and/or the jetbikes.
It worked like a charm. It was helped by the fact that the objective that I infiltrated the kroot onto was the 4 point one, and one of the objectives in his side was a 2 pointer, forcing him to try and take the 4 pointer. It was pretty close though. His first turn of shooting wiped out a full broadside squad for first blood. In response the remaining broadsides missed completely! In his second round of shooting he killed my commander for “kill the warlord”. It was a bit of an uphill struggle from there.
However, Eldrad casting prescience on fire knives was absolutely devastating, and neither the seraphim squad not the crusaders reached the gun line. St Celestine did. I killed her every round, but she just kept getting back up again and again. Eventually I put her down with a gun drone in close combat!
The stars of the game however, we're the kroot. Two squads of them combined managed to hold the 4 point objective, kill the seraphim squad, before it reached them (it failed to get into combat twice, rolling too low on 2d6) and, with help from some missile pods, broke one of the 20 "man" sister squads, seeing it off the objective!
So another win. I really liked this list. It's fragile but utterly devastating, providing Eldrad gets the powers he needs on the divination chart. But it is a classic "finese" list, and probably too fragile for tournaments, particularly the scoring units.
So "top table" (we were running a swiss pairing system) against dark eldar, and eldar allies. Squad of witches in a raider, squad of incubi in a raider, 3 venoms with scoring units in them, a squad of dire avengers with a farseer, 2 flyers, a ravager and a wraith lord. Big guns never tire, with Hammer and anvil, and me getting to go first.
I have never had a game where dice luck was so imbalanced! My dice were on fire (well except when it came to " to hit" rolls with hammer head rail guns!) and my opponent's we're cold, cold, cold.
For example, his turn one he moves both raiders flat out at my gun line. I move my bike squads forward to counter, and to rapid fire anything that gets out. First death rain team scores 3 penetrating hits on one raider, my opponent fails all 3 cover saves, and i blow up the raider, killing 4 witches. The remainder are pinned. Next death rain team blow up the other raider killing an incubi. My bike squads then proceed to kill the rest of the incubi, my opponent failing four 3+ armour saves in a row!
Next turn I roll for mysterious objectives, and get a sky fire nexus (or whatever it's called). Because it's big guns never tire, my Hammerhead controls that objective, and has sky fire!
My opponents flyers come on and at one point hit my commandeer with 3 dark lances, and then he rolls 3 ones to wound! One of his flyers is then downed by rapid firing fire warriors controlling the sky fire nexus!
It really was a bit of a travesty! Basically I couldn't miss, or fail a saving throw, and he couldn't hit or pass one!
However, more important than the outcome (I won!), was it taught me something about this list. Tau vehicles, while now really hard to kill (my HHs had 2+ saves hiding behind ruins, and my Devilish had 2+ save moving flat out), they just do not kill stuff! It’s the same story as always with Hammerheads, while the large blast is nice, it’s a lot of points for a one shot S10 AP1 round. But there is another problem – giving the Dpod shrouding actually makes the vehicles too hard to kill. My opponent just ignored them and concentrated on killing my suits – exactly what you do not want to happen! And now needing to get the fire warriors out of the devilfish before they can score, kinda defeats the purpose of have a really survivable transport vehicle.
So 3 very different lists.
The Ork list isn’t subtle, but I suspect it will be reasonably effective. The only problem was the lack of low AP weapons. I only had 4 railguns with an AP lower than 4 – that made taking out the Wraith Guard hard – and I suspect it would make terminators and marines hard too. I need to rejig things to get some plasma into the list,
The Eldar list is lots of fun to play – it is the list that reminds me most of “old style” Tau gun line lists, where everything is entirely dependant on killing stuff before it gets to you. The list does this far better than the old lists, and the jet bikes give you some very mobile scoring units. However, it is still very fragile, particularly the scoring units. I really don’t think it’s the best list.
The bike list didn’t really work. I think I need to swap out the Hammerheads for broadsides, and drop the Devilfish. However, I think it has the potential to be the strongest list. The problem might be that it will only work at higher points levels….need to think this one through a bit more. It may be that a mech Tau list works better as a pure Tau list, rather than with allies.