Monday, 8 October 2012

Chaos of the Warp 5: Tournament Report

First Tournament of the autumn at the weekend. Didn’t do too well, but I had a great time.

As usual, no detailed bat reps – brief summaries with lessons to be drawn from the games at the end. For those of you who care (!) my list was posted previously – briefly Tau with Ork allies.

Game One

Against Dark Eldar (no allies). Two Archons, Witches, Incubai, Warriors squads x3, all of these in Raiders, Parasite Engine, and a flyer. Capture and Control, Vanguard Strike deployment. I got first turn.

When I saw his list, and the lack of terrain on the board, I knew I would have to work hard to lose this one. In the past I’ve kinda struggled a bit with Dark Eldar, they are so fast they get into my guns very quickly, but with my new improved Ork bubble wrap, I was pretty confident.

And I was right – while he did seize, and rushed my lines, I was easily able to drop his transports and block his assaults, before gunning down his troops. I won, killing most of his army for the loss of a few orks and a couple of gun drones!

Game 2

Such a big win catapulted me to table 2. Up against a Codex Marine army – Lysander and Pedro, with 2 Sternguard squads and 2 tactical squads in drop pods, a devastator squad and 5 Thunder Hammer Terminators. He also had an aegis and a quad gun. One of the sternguard squads had 2 heavy flamers and 2 combi flamers, the other was all combi meltas. Mission was Pitched Battle, and annihilation.

Frankly I fancied my chance here. Basically I needed to castle up, use the orks to push the drop pods away from my suits, weather the alpha strike from the sternguard, and then blow them away, taking the pods as easy kill points. The one thing I was worried about was the orbital bombardment from Pedro. If I castled too tightly, that would mince my suits.

I got first turn but he managed to hide everything that was on the board except the quad gun, so I killed his quad gun! In his turn the flamer sternguard did a number on one squad of boyz when they came down, but everything else was intact. In my turn I killed one squad of sternguard and a drop pod. In his turn 2 both tac squads came in and he boxed me into a corner so I had no place to run. Happily his orbital bombardment scattered 12” killing 2 orks and one of his own marines! In my turn I managed to kill all of the tac squad that was blocking my escape route, as well as their drop pod. The plan then was to “tactically withdraw” while killing everything. And it almost worked…!

I lost because of 2 dice rolls! Firstly, I failed to take out the other tactical squad, leaving 3 men standing. They broke and ran (the first dice roll!) and that fall back, plus their 3” regroup roll, then their 6” move plus a charge roll, allowed them to assault one of my Fire Knife squads, wiping it! Next, he killed a gun drone on the other fire knife squad, forcing a leadership check which I failed (the other dice roll). They fell back 8 inches, right in front of Lysander to be pulped by the fist of dorn next turn! Losing both of these squads in one turn wiped my plasma fire power, and it was just moping up for my opponent after that…..!

A great, really tense game, with a fun opponent. The list worked well, and I could have won, but for those 2 rolls. Oh, and Lysander is a complete beast, tanking shoots for a sternguard squad.

Game 3

Against guard with SW allies. Command Squad in a chimera, blob with wolf priest, Psykers, 3 Vendettas with Vets in them, 2 Manticores, a Hydra, and an Aegis Defence line. Playing the Relic.

What can I say about this game! The blob sat behind the defense line and every time I shot them went to ground for a 2+ save, then got up to shoot next time using “get back in the fight”. The Manticores hid behind a building and pulped my Orks, the Vendettas picked off my suits, and the veterans hopped out the Vendettas to snatch the relic in the last turn. First time I’ve been tabled in a long time!

Still, good game with a fun opponent. After the game we talked about tactics – I really couldn’t see how I could have played this one differently to be honest. My opponent’s suggestion was to rush the orks past the relic to put pressure on his gunline, bringing up the Kroot behind them to pick up the relic. Alternatively, stay away from the relic and just blow anybody off it. Need to think about this mission a little more.


I really enjoyed this tournament. First game was a bad match up for my opponent, but the second game could have gone either way. I was however comprehensively beaten in the last game!

A few things to reflect on

·         Orks are not Kroot (!) Because they are fearless (usually) and T4, they can take a charge quite effectively. The problem then is they do not break like Kroot. So you do not necessarily get to rapid fire the squad that charged them next turn. There is more of a risk that the orks will hold and break in your turn. This is not necessarily bad, you just need to be more careful with your positioning

·         I’m beginning to wonder whether death rains are as useful as they were ….! Very few people were taking light armour (dark elder excepted). Rhinos and Razorbacks were conspicuous by their absence. Maybe for light flyers because they are twin linked?

·         Broadsides are reasonably good at taking out flyer, even the heavy ones (Vendettas).

·         Shield Drones are significantly better than Gun drones.

·         Although it’s only a 5+ now, cover is still a pain to deal with. Particularly when you bring your own, in the shape of an Aegis Defence Line for an effective 2+ save! There is still a use for marker lights (although not pathfinders!).

·         Volume of fire is something I still don’t have enough of.

So taking all this into account…. more broadsides at the expense of death rains, Tetras for marker light support (the next 3, but one, tournaments I’m going to allow forge world rules), and try and fit in some Shield Drones.

And (and I never thought I would say this) fire warriors…. ! I’m beginning to wonder whether 2 squads of 12 behind an aegis defense line (one squad with an embedded Shasel for Leadership 9, the other with an ethereal to make them fearless and give everybody a re roll) might be the way to go? With marker light support (and the Tetras will get a 2+ cover save behind the Aegis thanks to the Disruption Pods), that’s a lot of shots!

Finally – I’m beginning to wonder again about Hammerheads. There were a few times when I could really have done with the large blast template….!


  1. Thanks for hosting an awsome tau-blog. I recently bought a massive tau army and am planning on running them at the 11th company tournament in November. Having only played 2 NOVA missions with them; your insight is giving me ideas and clues how I should proceed.

    My opponents were DE venom spam(major win) and Demons Flying Screamin Fate Flamer Prince(major loss)

    Here was my army:

    2000 Points Tau Eldar

    Commander Shas'o: Eject, BSF, Drone, Multi-Tracker
    2x Gun Drone

    10 Kroot

    2x 6 Firewarrior w/ DFish (D-Pod Spines Gun Drones)

    2x (seperate FOC slot) Piranhas (DPod spines fusion gundrones)

    2 Broadside (shas'ver, sms, drone, mulit tracker, BSF, 2 shield drones

    2x Hammerhead (Railgun, SMS, Target array, BSF, DPod, MultiTracker, Spines, TArget Lock)

    Eldrad (traded powers for Divination Book powers)

    2x 3 Guardian Jet Bikes (1 cannon each squad)

    3 Shining Spears w/ Exarch (cannon starlance)

    Didnt do too well against demons... lol

  2. Thanks mate - would you like some thoughts on the list?


  3. That would be much appreciated.

  4. OK, IMHO you do not have enough fire power in the list. Very broadly I suggest you cut the Shining Spears and perhaps one of the hammer heads and replace them with XV8's.

    Now that I think about it there is perhaps more to this than first impressions. If you can bear with me a day or so I'll put together some more thoughts, and do a blogg post, and a suggested re write.

    Do you have any restrictions on models or theme that you're working to?


  5. The upcoming tourney I'm working toward is 1999+1 NOVA setup. I have ALOT of suits 2 pihranas eldar Crons and demons. Let's see what ya got. I'm willing to test out anything to avoid playing the lists I'm used to. (That's kinda why i bought 3000+ pts of tau lol.