Wednesday, December 21, 2011

So... Necrons v Tau Strategies

So i've been thinking about Necrons. Specifically, that nexis between Solar Pulse, Imotekh, and av13-till-penetrated hulls and how that relates to my Tau. 

Tau are terrible at nightfighting. Sure markerlight hits can be expended to ignore night-fighting on a 1-per-squad basis, but first you have to get the markerlights to hit, which in nightfighting conditions with heavy weapons is not an easy task. Additionally, having a mainly av13 army can be a bit of a challenge for tau, as now it takes fusion blasters or railguns for even the lowliest of transports, even the Crisis squad's vaunted missile pods aren't much use. And then, when it all lets up, Necrons win at CC, so letting them get into assault range is a problem.

I'm musing a bit on whether my gameplan needs to change, as the Tau i usually play are completely helpless in extended night-fighting scenarios. Additionally, those random lightning strikes suck when you can consistently max out your force org chart.

What are your experiences with Tau vs New Necrons? Share them, oh Dear Reader!

~Shas'el Mike

Sunday, December 18, 2011

One More, so I Don't Forget

Oh yes, and I did a bit of conversion work the other night. Generally speaking, I am bad with greenstuff, and I avoid metal models. However, in an odd conversion of improbability and rarity, I decided to play with both. I needed another Death Company with a power weapon, but I haven't bought magnets for my existing DC. Oh, and I had a metal torso from some Space Marine from an edition gone by. So what did I do you ask? Go on, ask. Its ok. So what did I do? I blinged it up! I have an army of helmeted guys, because I hate painting flesh, but I had this rebreather head I really wanted to use in some way. Also, I an inflexible boring metal body that needed something to spruce it up. So, I used greenstuff for some hair on the rebreather head, i used the arm-with-the-robotic-hand from the DC thunderhammer arm, some blood angel shoulder pads, a DC backpack and BLAM! there you have it. Here are the pics. Enjoy!

This Week: 1500 Tourament!

So apparently the 3rd weekend of the month is tournament weekend at Comic Asylum. I went, I conquered somewhat, it was fun. As far as armies, there were Blood Angels, Grey Knights, Space Wolves, Chaos Marines, Chaos Demons, Necrons, Vanilla Marines, and Eldar that I remember. The missions weren't published initally, so I wasn't sure what I was getting into, but I figured i'd bring my Blood Angels! They haven't seen a lot of use, due to the awkward nature of my model collection and my desire to only play with painted armies. By awkward I mean that my collection comprises most of the support/ fast attack/elite choices i'd want to play with, but i need another squad or two of assault marines. So, here is the list I went with:

1850 Tournament!

Love this pic.
And now for an overdue update: Last weekend I had the privilege of playing in an 1850 tournament at Texas Toy Solider. It cost $15 for entry, and was a success. Sisters of Battle, Eldar, Chaos Demons, Grey Knights, Imperial Guard, Chaos Marines, Blood Angels, Space Wolves, another Tau and two Vulcan Marines were present competing for success, plus whatever other armies slipped my mind. Oddly absent were Dark Eldar and Necrons, considering they are the newest of the zenos books. Also, (with no surprise) there was no Tyranids present.

While previously I have mentioned that the traditional monobuild of Tau is the only way to go, I've been playing around with a different setup. Basically, two-man Crisis squads and two 5-man Fire Warriors in Devilfishes. The reason for the Crisis squad setup is their abysmal leadership and the expense of squad upgrades. Crisis suits are jump infantry with poor leadership, and should they break less than 50% then they can never rally. Also, if vehicles are the target often one of the suits is wasting its shots. And lastly, 3 suits are tough to hid behind cover or vehicles, as one of them is bound to have something hanging out. So, i've been playing two-man squads. They may break, but they will never run off the map unable to rally due to squad size. Also, they're easier to hide. So, I used this strategy in my 1850 list. Heres the list, in case you are wondering:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"Penguins come from Antartica!"

Hello Internet! You can tell i'm glad to be posting because I personified the web of insanity that is the interwebz. Yes, you may now throw stones. 'Interwebz' is one of the stupidest words ever, and has gone from ironic to stupid due to overuse. By the way, I came up with a new joke today. Want to hear it? Glad you do, here it is:

Saturday, October 29, 2011

1200 Tau v Nurgle Marines Thoughts

Beautiful Diorama
In the last week, i've managed to read all the battle reports involving my favorite Tau bloggers I could get ahold of. Between that and my musings, I've been interested in getting a game going.

Tonight one of my buddies and I got a game going at the local gamestore. We played 1200 points, him Nurgle Marines and I Tau. Unfortunately we got capture and control, pitched battle. I placed my objective in the open and his was placed in cover. My list was as follows:

shas'el: mp, pr, mt
2x2 crisis: mp, pr, mt
2x6 fire warrior
2x1 devilfish: dp
2x1, 1x1 piranha: dp, ta, fb
2x1 hammerhead: dp, mt, rail, sms

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Swappable Blood Angels Furioso / Librarian

Finishing up assembling my new BA dreads and hit a quandary. The death dreads will stay as-is, I haven't come up with a list where I want anything besides basic guns and talons on them. The Furioso is a different story. I want it to have a hot-swappable left arm and torso. The arm is easy, a simple magnet will do the trick. The torso is trickier due to the hollow interior. So, if you know an easy way to accomplish this, please let me know. Pics and tutorials are both always good.

Until Next Time!

~Shas'el Mike

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Tau @ 1.5k: not like I usually play

First off, a huge thank you for putting up with my touting my models I was selling here. I had my eye on three Furiosos, and the necessary bits to make 2 of them Death Company Furiosos, and one of them able to alternate between vanilla and Librarian Furioso. With some bitz-sells as well, I also picked up the bitz to finish my converted Vanguard Veterans. I'll do some posting about those when I'm done. However, thats all beside the point. For now, there shouldn't be any shameless commercial plugs. Now, on to other stuff.

Monday, September 26, 2011

More For Sale: Terminators w/ Converted Cyclone Missile Launchers!

Greetings readers! Just about wrapping this round's army-cleanup is another batch of Terminators! If you are looking at this post, then you will know I'm selling my terminators squad. I am not sure if they are AoBR, as the captain and a couple of the other guys look different than my other squad. I converted two of them to be packing CML's, and did a solid job painting them. They are painted as Blood Angels, specifically the Angels Encarmine. Because of the Red Thirst which figures so prominently in both the Blood Angel fluff as well as rules, I've painted the sergeant as if he's fallen to it. This time, that means somewhat ashen skin and my preferred glowy-white eyes. If you got a terminator squad and want to beef it out with a special-weapon guy, this squad is for you. Or, if you like the Black Templar rules, these termies are for you. Here are some pics. They're at full size, so if you click on one you can open it to a huge size. They'll be on eBay, i'll post the link shortly!
Oh, if you're curious as to why you'd need shooty terminators, they fit in any list where you need someone who is extremely resilient, absorbs a ton of shots, and can destroy vehicles and soldiers alike in the shooting or assault phase. Like this list at 1500 pts, for example:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

For Sale: Blood Angels Tactical Marines!

Greetings readers! If you are looking at this post, then you will know I'm selling two squads of Blood Angels Tactical Marines. They started out life as  an AoBR Tacticals, and I've added the power weapon and bolter onto the Sergeants and done a solid job painting them. The backpacks have some simulated wear on them to bring a bit of life to them, as black is boring. They are painted as Blood Angels, specifically the Angels Encarmine. Because of the Red Thirst which figures so prominently in both the Blood Angel fluff as well as rules, I've painted the Sergeants as if they've fallen to it. Here are some pics. They're at full size, so if you click on one you can open it to a huge size. They'll be on eBay, i'll post the link shortly!

Oh, if you're curious as to why you'd need tacticals, they fit in any list where you need someone to sit on objectives, or to babysit something slower. Like this list at 1500 pts, for example:

For Sale: Converted Blood Angels Captain!

Greetings readers! If you are looking at this post, then you will know I'm selling my converted AoBR Captain. He started out life as  an AoBR Captain, and I've added the thunderhammer and done a solid job painting him. He is painted as a Blood Angel, specifically the Angels Encarmine. Because of the Red Thirst which figures so prominently in both the Blood Angel fluff as well as rules, I've painted the Captain as if he's fallen to it. Here are some pics. They're at full size, so if you click on one you can open it to a huge size. He'll be on eBay, i'll post the link shortly!

Oh, if you're curious as to why you'd need a Captain, they fit in any list where you need someone who has multiple wounds and packs a mean punch. Like this list at 1500 pts, for example:

For Sale: Terminators

Greetings readers! If you are looking at this post, then you will know I'm selling my terminators squad. They started out life as AoBR Terminators, and I've added the special weapon and done a solid job painting them. They are painted as Blood Angels, specifically the Angels Encarmine. Because of the Red Thirst which figures so prominently in both the Blood Angel fluff as well as rules, I've painted the sergeant as if he's fallen to it. Here are some pics. They're at full size, so if you click on one you can open it to a huge size. They'll be on eBay, i'll post the link shortly!

Oh, if you're curious as to why you'd need shooty terminators, they fit in any list where you need someone who is extremely resilient, absorbs a ton of shots, and can destroy vehicles and soldiers alike in the shooting or assault phase. Like this list at 1500 pts, for example:

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

An Update.

Fire Warriors Look Awesome
Firstly, I have not published anything Tau-related in a while. While they are my favorite army and the one I almost always choose to play, most of what needs to be said has already been said. There is very little strategy for them, sadly, which has not already been covered. It is disappointing, but the only choice I make when putting my army together is whether to take more Broadsides or more Hammerheads. However, i hope to be posting a new batrep soon which will bring some fresh Tau content to you.

I proposed an article to The Escapist Magazine, a worthy website which you should frequent almost as much as my humble blog. However, it was turned down. I was interested in writing about the link between modern DRM, digital distribution, reduction of single-player content, and the loss of the classic PC game. By classic I mean a game whos quality is so exceptional that 18 years after its release you load it up and play it again. There may be emulators, or system tweaks, but it is still doable. Always-on connections and server-side authentication will end such things, and the consumer will be so much the poorer. Perhaps I will post it here. You never know.

While I have not been able to play any 40k games recently, my Blood Angels army construction continues apace. I have 11 scratch-built drop pods ready to be painted, and two squads of Vanguard Veterans kitbashed from Death Company and Sanguinary Guards that I need to finish assembling. Also, I have two Terminators I scratch-built Cyclone Missle Launchers, which need new Storm-Bolter arms. They came with Assault Cannons, which I still have, but for now lay dormant in my bitz box. Also, I am looking at posting a couple well-painted Tactical Squads and a AoBR Captain w/ Thunderhammer on eBay. If it weren't for their awesome appearance, the termies would likely join them. Neither quite fit in the jumper or drop-pod based assault armies I am building. So naturally I built a list with them, with two variations:

x1 librarian: bolt/sword
2x5 termies: cms
3x1 sang priests: x2 infernus pistols
2x10 tac squad: ml, melta, combi-melta
x6 devs: x4 ml
2x1 dreads: hflamer, assault cannon

x1 librarian: bolt/sword powers, combi-melta
2x5 termies: cms
3x1 san priests: x2 infernus pistols
2x10 tac squad: ml, melta, combi-melta
3x5 devs: x4 ml apiece

They both come to about 1500 points. The idea is to build a BA army that uses Blood Chalices to protect them while they stride slowly across the battlefield. One version, the devs provide a firebase set off at an angle from the rest of the force. In the other version, the Dreads go with the rest of the army, providing alternate threats as well as cover for the infantry. My goal was to use shooty terminators in the 1.5k range. I think these lists are about as good as it gets without introducing units that will fast outpace the termies.

And in other news... I will soon be finished with Mass Effect! Living under a rock and all, I am a bit behind the PC Gaming times. But I must say this game does live up to its hype. I hope to begin reindulging in Starcraft soon after this.

"prosper, as Tau shall"
Shas'El Mike

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Chaos Space Marine Lists

As the title suggests, I've spent part of today thinking about Chaos Space Marines. Specifically, how to build a solid 2k point list. As a quick scan of 3++ will tell you, that is no easy feat. Thus began my musings.

Every army is better at some things than others. Tau are mobile and shooty, Dark Eldar are mobile and assaulty. Blood Angels are good at everything, and so on. As far as shooting goes, there are three ranges: short, mid, and long. So, Chaos SM is adequate at mobile: their vehicles are more expensive than vanilla marines, yet cheaper than Blood Angel vehicles. But they aren't fast and are missing important vehicles like LR variations, speeders, and Razorbacks. As far as shooting: solid shooting at close range: melta is plentiful as are bolters. Mid-range shooting is adequate: auto-cannons are available on a couple different platforms. Long-range: terrible availability. Other than Heavy Support, there are no options unless you are playing gun-line. And should you do that, IG will blow you away. Looking at the available upgrades for vehicles and units, it appears that short-mid is where C:CSM wants you to be. And as for close combat... dangerously close to pants-on-head-bad.  It costs an arm and a leg to get the champion upgrade for any unit, and in most cases they are the only ones who can sport power weapons, claws or fists. Which are crazy expensive. Unless you are getting Terminators, which are more expensive than their loyalist counterparts and still somehow aren't as good.

So, on to the list churning. I stayed away from certain units due to their lack of performance versus cost. Here is one basic fundamental I based my lists around: Not all marks or specialty troops are created equal. For example, Khorne is dumb. khornecornflakes are bad, and so is anything else owing allegiance to the throne of skulls. As an expensive mark, it boosts your strength by one. cool. But, your hero is dumb, and as i mentioned its tough building good CC units out of C:CSM. Another fundamental was the avoidance of units too common in C:CSM armies. One of my gaming buddies uses Nurgle DPrinces and Plague Marines. So in the interest of variety these are both out. This restriction might be silly, but I think I can make it work. So, if marks are to be used, I have to chose between Tzeentch and Slaneesh. Increased invulnerability is cool, but higher initiative is cool too. and its cheaper. So its a toss-up.

so below is List One. I built it to get close, shoot a bunch, then kill everything left in CC. This list has a lot of melta, lots of combi weapons, and terminators to tie stuff up in CC while raptors kick at the victim when its safe to do so. A couple chaos marine squads can hang around the backfield or wherever they want, and hold objectives or use their meltagun to kill stuff while the other two advance. the two rhinos, preds, and LR's all move foward, with the raptors behind them. The speed depends on how much shooting you need to do. When you get close, you kill stuff. Here is the list, coming to 1995 pts: 

chaos lord: slanesh, combi, dual lclaws
2x5 termies: slanesh, x4 combies, x1 hflamer:
2x1 LR:
4x5 chaos marines: x1 melta:
2x1 rhino
2x5 raptors: slanesh, x2 melta, champion/powerfist, x1 flamer
 3x1 pred: ac/las

The only problem with this list is that terminators and Land Raiders, while awesome as loyalists, under-perform for their point costs as renegades. Chosen seem to be a better way to go. Cheaper per model, and you can dump 5 special weapons on a squad. I built a list using them as 4 melta gun platforms, which was cool. But, that means being within 12 inches of the enemy to use them. And since Chaos doesn't have any good CC outside of HQ and Elite slots, that can be a problem. Unless you want to play like a chaos-tau hybrid, move close, hide behind rhinos and dish out tons of melta fire. But that's silly. So, I built a second list for your consideration.

With this list, chosen can either shoot stuff or attack it. By removing Land Raiders, I'm free to move rhinos all 12 inches and pop smoke or shoot with occupants if I so desire. Again, the raptors jump behind the rhinos to keep them safe.  And, I can either have the preds hang back and shoot lascannons all day, or have them trundle behind for a turn or two, reducing their shooting. This way, the army gets close, shoots a ton of melta, and next turn jumps out and assaults stuff. And between the Chaos Lord, the Chosen, and the Raptors, not much will be left. So here it is for your convenience. And it comes out to 1999 points:

chaos lord: slanesh, dual lclaws
3x6 chosen: slanesh, x3 pw, x2 melta, champion/pfist
3x1 rhino: combi-weapon
4x5 chaos marines: x1 melta
2x1 rhino:combi-weapon
2x5 raptors: slanesh, x2 melta, champion/powerfist (one squad w/ flamer)
3x1 pred: aclc:

so, questions, comments. Let me know what you think!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

'Ard Boyz List

First off, 'Ard Boyz is stupid. For two reasons. Firstly, there is no need for craftsmanship. Customization beyond GW-parts is verboten, and painting is an unnecessary effort. Which means if you want to use models that GW hasn't provided you with a model for, you're out of luck. Secondly, the points are too high. At 2500 points, you can take anything your heart desires. There is no need to decide between taking unit A or B, or maximizing the effect of a particular FoC slot at the expense of the others. With most armies, your only remaining limitation is the number of slots. Problems aside, it does allow for something that "real" 40k battles don't: total firepower optimization. By bringing everything you could ever want, and equipping it the way you want, you can either (a) wipe your enemy out in a truly brutal manner, or (b) rent the earth in twain.

Tau aren't quite on the level of Imperial Guard at high point levels. With Tau, 1750 is the sweet spot. At this point, by maxing out your Elite and Heavy Support slots you bring enough firepower for a 2k game to a smaller one. By having the bigger stick, you stand a much greater chance of thrashing your opponent. At 2k points, you expand by adding in some diversionary units. Your firepower does not increase significantly, but your survivability and ability to bubble-wrap is much greater. At some point even this increase ends, namely at the 2k point range. At the 2.5k range, the law of diminishing returns strikes with a vengeance. At this point, you are out of Elite, Fast Attack, and Heavy slots. Troop slots do not increase anything beyond the ability to make sure your objectives stay claimed. So that only leaves HQ slots to increase offensive potential.

I propose that the HQ slots be entirely filled by deathrain suits.  The first reason I would propose such a thing is the likelihood of enemy mechanization. Most enemy armies will have extreme armor saturation at 2.5k points, whether it be rhino/razor-spam, or tons of squadrons IG-style. Or, in the case of Tyranids, lots of t6 baddies. Against all the above scenarios, loads and loads of s7 missiles are a good idea. The second reason is points allocation. Assuming you add an extra warfish and minimum-sized Fire Warrior squad for scoring redudancy, you can either take two commanders and two bodyguards as fireknives, or you can take two commanders and four bodyguards as deathrains. While the extra points from the fireknife setup could allow your piranhas to live longer and add a couple shield drones here and there, it doesnt significantly increase your offensive punch. The list is as follows:

shas'el: x2 mp, tl, bonding knife: 78
x2 bodyguards: x2mp, ta, bsf: 122

shas'el: x2 mp, tl, bonding knife: 78
x2 bodyguards: x2mp, ta, bsf: 122

x3 crisis: mp, pr, mt: 186

x3 crisis: mp, pr, mt: 186

x3 crisis: mp, pr, mt: 186

x6 fire warriors: 60

devilfish: mt, ta, sms, dp: 120

x6 fire warriors: 60

x10 kroot carnivores / x7 kroot hounds: 112

x10 kroot carnivores / x7 kroot hounds: 112

x2 Piranhas: fb, ta, dp: 150

x2 Piranhas: fb, ta, dp: 150

x9 Pathfinders: leader: bonding knife: 118

Devilfish: mt, ta, sms, dp: 120

Hammerhead: railgun, sms, mt, dp: 175

Hammerhead: railgun, sms, mt, dp: 175

x3 Broadsides: x3ass, leader: target lock, bonding knife, shield drone: 190

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Feast of Blades recap, or, Tau are pretty dang good.

Firstly, if you've read my site, which advocate Tau as pretty dang good, and thought "eh, they suck": I'm right. I told you so. I may or may not remove this paragraph, I'm just pretty excited by the events of yesterday. To make sure you read the whole thing, i'll sprinkle the pics and main points in with the descriptions of the missions. Mua-ha-ha.

So firstly, I brought my Tau. I burned a couple days painting and converting to make sure I had everything. I even built a Missile Pod and a pair of SMS launchers from cardboard and greenstuff. Talk about low-tech. To make sure I pulled at least the max points from painting to be added to my score, I painted everything. And based it. And slept less than usual. But, I had one of the better painted armies there, so that makes me happy. Painting is a lot of work, but you're rewarded with beautiful models on the table. So, on to the games. I took the list I mentioned in my previous post, with some modifications. Essentially, I accidentally undercosted the Hammerheads and so I had to retweak it. My list looked like so:

Crisis Shas'el: mp, pr, mt, tl
3x3 Crisis: mp, pr, mt
x6 FW
2x10/7 Kroot/hounds
2x2 Piranhas: fusion blaster, ta, dp
x8 pathfinders
devilfish: sms, ta, mt, dp
2x Hammerheads: railgun, sms, mt, dp
x2 Broadsides: ass, team leader w/ tl, x2 SD

as my last competitor said, (SPOILER: he was running dual-Land Raiders, backed up by x2 preds, x2 Baals, x2 las-plas rzbacks, mephy and a Furioso-laden Drop Pod) "wow thats a mean list."

GAME 1: vs Pre-Heresy Thousand Sons (counts-as Grey Knights)
Mission: modified Capture and Control (2 objectives 18" from short edge, 24" from long; 2 placed by players.)
Deployment: Pitched Battle (night fighting turns 5-7)

The goal of this game was to control more objectives than your opponent as primary, score more KP's than your opponent as secondary, and there were a series of Battle Point modifiers. Things such as not going voluntarily to ground, or having highest-costed unit survive, or being in the enemy's deployment zone, etc.

My opponent was using a heavily converted pre-heresy 1kSons army using Grey Knights rules. He put his marker on one corner, and i put mine towards the middle. The table we were using was one of the last ones setup, and it had some bad issues with terrain setup. As in the-middle-was-open-and-only-one-person-got-BLoS-terrain kind of bad. So we had to burn time re-arraigning the table to make it reasonable.  This resulted in us only making it turn 3. It was an enjoyable game, and we wound up tying for objective control, with a tie for secondary kill-points, and winning modifications 3-2.

As far as game-play goes: he split his army between both corners, one of which had his objective, and put a dread, hero and retinue in a storm raven reserved. I deployed entirely in one corner, deployed kroot within running distance of one of the middle objectives. And i put the other kroot squad directly into partially los-blocking area terrain on another objective close to his other corner. Then I seized. First turn went well, with me obliterating a large chunk of the forces on my side of the board. his other bunker scored a stunned on my hammerhead his turn one, but was out of range of everything but a kroot squad the next two turns. his storm raven came in turn 2, and forced a leadership check on the kroot that forced them off the board. AND, he got a lucky hit in on my dfish and immobilized it. My turn, i wrecked the storm raven and killed off the dread and most of the retinue of the GK hero. I tried running the FW but couldnt get close enough before end of time call.The frustrating part is, the only three units left on my side of the board were mostly-dead. Coteaz still had one henchman alive, and one GK squad had a member out of LoS and another squad that was half-gone that was outside LoS.

Closing thoughts: as far as deployment goes, I rate myself as "stellar." It went off as it was supposed to. A squad of Kroot on the closest objective, going to ground every round, provided a 17-body squad with a 3+ save to soak his firepower. And the turbo-boosting Piranhas kept his Rhino squad busy when it eventualy got out of terrain that wanted to pulverize them. Everyone else on my end of the table, focusing firepower on half his force while rendering his other forces mostly useless by virtue of range. As far as target priority/movement: "pretty good." I did not keep up with the time, and should have had the Fire Warriors close to the objective before time was called. That was an error on my part. One Piranha was close enough to contest the middle objective by him, and kept him from being close enough to contest my objective there. And his forces on my end of the table did not do anything significant. Other than one lost piranha, a lost Pirahna squadron, and the Gun Drone squadron that ran off the table, the only squad i lost was due to running off the table. (freakin Kroot leadership.) I contained him well, and nearly killed two squads and killed a good number of other units. But I forgot about my Fire Warriors, which cost me a "Minor Victory," instead winning by modifiers.

Game 2: vs Space Wolves
Mission: Table Quarters
Deployment: Spearhead

The goal of this game was to control the most table-quarters, based on VP in that quarter. The catch was that troops counted double as far as VP were concerned. Secondary was Kill Points, and the modifiers mentioned earlier were also present.

This was probably my least favorite game, and yet the most informative. I say least favorite because the guy I played against was not that great of a sportsman. Not the throwing-things-and-cheating kind, more of the opinionated-always-right-arrogant type. But, the game itself went well. Due to the slowness resulting from Long Fangs being able to pick different targets for each individual, again we only made it to turn 3. We tied in primary objectives (quarters controlled), tied in secondary (kill points), and i lost by 2-1 his favor for modifiers.

We setup quarters, me going first. I setup on one side, he deployed everything but his Scouts on the opposite quarter. Turn one, I either (a) failed almost half of my rolls or (b) he made every cover save from the shots I did make. Most annoying, and since he didn't seize and never advanced my Pathfinders were useless. His turn 1 resulted in killing a Piranha from the southern squad. Turn two, i popped Rhinos and Razorbacks, and wiped out some troops, and he killed a Piranha from the northern squad and immobilized the other in the southern, and whittled my huddled Kroot down. Turn 3, I got my Kroot up top in the center of the map, and was assaulted but stuck in. Oh, and lost my pathfinders to scouts who outflanked, and then summarily wiped them out with combined arms fire. His troops huddled in the middle and left terrain, one by my Kroot climbing up center, and psyker and LF squads top left. Here is a pic:

Closing thoughts: Overall, this battle was very informative. firstly: READ THE RULES FOR THE SCENARIO THREE TIMES. Once for an overview, once to make sure you understand everything, and once for anything you might have missed. We both naturally assumed that the quarters were like deployment: rectangles. However, it wasn't. draw two lines bisecting the table forming 4 triangles, not squares, and those are the quarters. I just realized it wasnt. GGGRR. Essentially, by shifting those Kroot right instead of center, and advancing my Devilfish 8 inches or so, I could have claimed the right quarter, and I already had the bottom and left quarters. As it was, since we thought it was squares, I had the bottom two and he had top two. But if we'd done it right, we would have each had two left and right. But, I could have had 3 if I'd paid more attention. The lesson here is play Tau more aggressively. I played defensively, and did well. I lost a squad of Crisis suits to accidentally leaving one in LOS to an unpopped Vindicator, lost a squad of Kroot to three turns of shooting, and a Piranha squadron and two Gun Drone squadrons to shooting/CC, plus pathfinders to out-flanking Scouts. However, I popped a Rhino, two Razorbacks, wiped out his Lord and squad, a Vindicator, Scouts, and mangled two of his remaining three troops badly, leaving only a kroot squad in range of anything he had. But, since I played defensively, I didnt get that quarter to my right. A little harder push and I could have taken it, since I already had two. But, live and learn. I'm solid on defense, but I don't kick it into offensive gear well. Also... TALLY UP YOUR OPPONENTS KILL POINTS TOO. It just occurred to me that he failed to tally his Scouts into the kill points. Blah. I'm hoping that it was by accident. So that means that I should have reported this as a win by secondary, since I lost modifiers by 1.

GAME 3: vs Blood Angels
Mission: Annhilation
Deployment: Dawn of War

This one was good ol-fashioned kill-everything goodness that everyone loves. I was facing a mechanized Blood Angels list. It featured 2 Baal Preds in reserve, 2 Preds, two Land Raiders, a Furioso in a DP, 2 lasplas Rbacks and Mephiston. Yikes. The primary objective was kill points, secondary was Seize Ground, with 5 objectives scattered around the map. And the usual modifiers.

I won roll-off and opted to go second. So he placed a Land Raider center with Mephiston slightly to his right. You may notice from the picture I deployed rather close to the blood angels player. why? Other than the above mentioned Mephy and LR, everything came rolling on t1. And, what you can't see from this picture is the other corner didn't have area terrain. I seized (yes, second time for those of you counting) went first, bringing everyone on and huddling in the corner Tau-style: Piranhas in front and side, Kroot behind, everything else behind them, Broadsides furthest back. He hit me with Mephy and the DP'd Furioso which did nothing, and killed a piranha and missed the other due to only hitting on 6's. Turn two, i killed his LR, the Furioso and Mephy. Yes, I did. One piranha popped the LR, one squad of Crisis suits popped the Furioso, and everyone else and their mother shot Mephy. He took 6 of 5 possible wounds and left the field. The next 4 turns consisted of him bringing everyone on and moving closer, my failing to have my pathfinders in an ideal location for two turns, but me managing to kill off one razorback and one of four troop squads. I also rendered one Pred turretless, one troop killed down to the sarge, another at half stregnth, and a Razorback turretless/immobilized. And failing to kill the Baal preds or the drop pod.I kid you not. Turn 4 everyone tried popping Baals, Turn 5 everyone tried popping the Drop Pod for an easy kill point. I lost a Crisis squad, three Piranhas, my Broadsides and a Hammerhead turn 5 to CC.So I won a minor victory. Secondary, I was perched on an objective all game, and turn 5 blasted my Devilfish foward for the Fire Warriors could claim one. And, the only full stregnth troop squad of his spread out enough to claim two. That was sad bananas. So a tie for secondary objective. and he won modifiers 6-4. So this was a close game but I got a victory out of it.

Closing thoughts:  This match scared me a bit starting out. Firstly, DoW sucks for Tau. If you go first, the other guy gets to deploy wherever. But if you second, the other guy opens the night fighting-less salvos. But, since i deployed second then seized to go first, that worked out. However, with the way the terrain was setup, my pathfinders didn't come into play till third turn. first couple turns everything went as planned, killing everything in threat-range of CC. Turns 3 and 4 I did a lot of shaking/stunning, but nothing significant. Turn 5 I ignored the actual threats to add some extra padding to my KP by popping the Drop Pod. That was dumb. Especially since it didn't work. Don't get me wrong, I hit almost every time. I just couldn't roll more than a 2 on my damage roll. Which... since I forgot that Drop Pods count as open-topped, meant that i wasted two of my suit squads shots on a Pod that should have been destroyed it. Overall, I would say that it went very well. I pulled off defensive-Tau "mostly good." As far as deployment goes, it was solid. Everything but pathfinders had a solid place to be. Pathfinders burned two turns going through terrain. he top area was blocked by a dead Piranha, but was rolled over by the other Land Raider, which dumped Assault Marines on my HH, killing it. That should have been better protected. Especially since the sarge survived the returning salvo, which killed everyone else. Next time, I need to keep shooting scary things to the end, rather than doing what I did, which cost me the last member of a Crisis squad.

Overall, I'd say the qualifier went very well. The tables were mostly solid, with me only having to really fix the first one I played on. I had a couple mistakes on my part, culminating in a win-by-tertiary on the first game, reporting second game as loss-by-tertiary, even though it should have been win-by-secondary, and third was a win-by-primary. The people were very chill, and a pleasure to compete with. Playing Tau, I really feel the limits of the codex design. Every Heavy and every Elite slot is critical, losing a unit is a huge blow. However, I feel I did a good job killing my opponents forces while minimizing their chances to kill mine. Also, the money I spent on Piranhas was worth every bit. They totally change the game dynamic by bringing threatening weaponry and a difficult to hit target that MUST be dealt with to the opponent's side of the field t1. I feel I have defensive-Tau figured out, I need to work on offensive. Where objectives are concerned, I need to be more aware of time and make sure I have a way to jump an objective or two the last turn of the game.

Shas'el Mike out.
Join the hunt

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Feast of Blades!

So it turns out I dont have the pictures for my last batrep. Suffice to say, it was close. Basically an ironclad dread got lucky and unpinned my right-flank, rolling my army up in a way that would have awed Stonewall Jackson. Lately i've had a difficult time getting games arranged IRL. In vassal-speak, that's "in real life." So, I've been playing there. I got a game in with Blood Angels, running a dual-land raider list backed up by a rhino packing librarians versus a Green Tide list. The satisfaction in killing every single ork before the end of turn 4 is indescribable.

And, i've been getting  a couple Tau games in. Today I was at turn 4, the game in the balance playing against Tyranids when my phone killed my connection. When I got back on, either he'd lost connection too (which had happened during deployment) or he'd moved on. Basically, i could potentially had a win against an aggressive army. Possibly. Now I'll never know. I was running the following list. i'm mosty happy with it, as long as the dice are at least ambivalent to me. i'm toying with running a second FW squad, since I'm already paying for the Devilfish. Also, toying with taking a second batch of Broadsides in leiu of a Hammerhead. Will let you know on how that musings go.
Basically Awesome

Shas'el: x2mp, tl, ta

x3 Crisis Suits: mp, pr, mt
x3 Crisis Suits: mp, pr, mt
x3 Crisis Suits: mp, pr, mt
x6 FW: rifles
x10 kroot / x7 hounds
x10 kroot/ x8 hounds
x6 Pathfinders
x6 Pathfinders
Devilfish: sms, mt, ta, dp
Devilfish: sms, mt, ta, dp
x2 Piranha: fb, ta, dp
Hammerhead: railgun, sms, mt, dp
Hammerhead: railgun, sms, mt, dp
x2 Broadside: ass, team leader: tl, hwdc, x1 SD

My Firewarriors want to be this awesome
Why all this 40k flurry? Because its almost time to play for Feast of Blades! My qualifier is on the 30th, and i really want to head out west come November. So look out here I come!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

BatRep pending... and Greenstuff!

Apologies Universe about the lack of posting... I've moved to the "Big City," so delays there, and I don't get my internet hooked up till Tuesday morning... so yeah its been tough. While the last two days I've had internet due to running Android off a little 2gb micro-sd card I bought for the purpose, prior to that I had zilch.

Anyways, current projects. Firstly, I got a game in at Comic Asylum, and that batrep is pending. First I have to track down my pics... * spoiler * Ironclad Dreadnoughts are wicked against little green commies. * end spoiler. *

Other Projects... my AoBR Dreadnought is kind of plain, rather generic. Also, since he is a discount-dread he didn't come with smoke launchers. Now, I haven't got around to doing a bitz order for a while, and since im in cheaphammer mode I converted some! This was a tail-end project after a night of manic greenstuffing (first time, dontcha know). Also, used a bunch of bits from a couple Raven Wing sprues I had lying around. And here is the result: 

I had initially bought the greenstuff to fix a couple of Assault Marines that i'd picked up off of eBay that were broken. As an aside, who the heck puts 4 knives all over a Space Marine? He's not freakin Rambo... grr. Anyways. I wont post pics of the repair jobs because that is boring. however, I will announce that:
Two of them are the old metal ones. Nothing special to them, only one of them if painted like Cortez. I kid you not. However, I did also luck out and get some of the plastic bitz from the Command Squad for the same price. So i built myself one, and I like how it turned out. Sort of a spray-the-area-in-front-of-you-with-gunfire-in-a-gangsta-sort-of-way motif:

Also, I finally got another pair of legs and built my Devastator sergeants.  In the Blood Angels fluff the Devastators are actually the oldest most experienced soldiers, since they are less likely to go blood ragey. Also, some of the guys I've purchased are ancient (3rd ed) models, so I wanted my sarges to look old. And, since my first (and only) Dev kit purchase was a 1993 kit, I have the old-school signum. So I followed a similar path with these two guys:

So once I was done, I wanted to experiment with greenstuffing a couple marines. I've got two bike riders that I have no use for, as I don't have any bikes. And then the idea hit me: epic poses! I know I would like to convert a plastic jumpy librarian, but these two might be too unweildy. But they do make awesome display models. Not sure what I'm gonna do with them, I may not field them at all. Also, it helped me release my frustration about my recent Tau-induced losing streak. Very few things are as satisfying as modeling a Fire Warrior about to get his own personal exterminatus after a couple games where the Cadre let you down. Also, this was my first experience cutting them up and greenstuffing them back together. Sadly I didn't think about WIP shots but if your interested I can probably remember everything I did. Probably. Looking at the robes now that they're done, I can see some work I need to do to make them more robe-like. So you'll certainly be seeing more WIP pics of them later on! So without further ado, here they are: 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Battle Rep 750 Tau v Imperial Guard

So... never play a scenario that involves your army being losing in terms of theory.

My buddy Andrew and I decided to do a quick game of 40k, I decided to run my Tau. They've been a bit lonely of late. Due to lack of time we went with 750 points. Not a lot, especially with a codex as damaged as Tau. I had to squelch an impulse to take the easy path and take Blood Angels. It wasn't easy. So, I went to work on a somewhat balanced list. Here it is:

Crisis Commander: x2 mp, ta, tl, shield drone: 98 pts

x2 Crisis suits: mp, pr, mt. (x1 team leader, bknife): 134

x2 Crisis suits: mp, pr, mt. (x1 team leader, bknife): 134

x7 Fire Warriors: p rifles. (x1 team leader, bknife, p carbine): 80

x12 kroot: 84

x2 Broadsides: x2 ass (x1 team leader, bknife, tl, gun drone): 180

(now if you notice my math is a bit off. I sacrificed some points due to doing the math in my head. but I didn't realize that till after the game was over)

 Andrews list was (insert correct terminology below):

melta vet squad, x2 melta, chimera

melta vet squad, x2 melta, chimera

melta vet squad, x2 melta, chimera

psyker, hung with one of the melta vet squads

leman russ, battle cannon and sponsons.


we rolled in the Battle Missions book and came up with  the Tau mission Fighting Withdrawl. Basically 3 objectives, I get Hit and Run USR. i deploy a kroot screen, hole my fire warriors up in some terrain, put my Crisis commander in with them, put my broadsides where they can see everything and put my Crisis suits out of sight.

Turn 1: Andrew
He comes in as close to me as possible, 3 chimeras with melta-vets and a Leman Russ as backup. He uses his psyker to fry some fire warriors and my commanders drone. Then he opens fire and wipes out all the fire warriors but the team leader. I'm so proud of them, my FW never faltered, acing every morale save.He tries to ordinance them with the LR, but scatters back onto his command Chimera and immobilizes it. el-oh-el.

Turn 1: Me
  Figuring that ive got this one sewn up, I move my crisis suits into shooting range. I open up with 4 missile shots and 2 plasma shots from one Crisis squad. They do jack. I then try the other: they get two hits that are smoked away. The commander gets snake-eyes followed by a re-roll of not enough to penetrate. on a str7 weapon. pathetic. Then, my Broadsides fire: only one hits, it penetrates. It then rolls a one, and wow. The stupid Chimera can't shoot or move on its turn. At this point I figure this game might be real quick, as I'm about to lose my troops plus whatever else. I try to assault with the Kroot: they get some hits in and stun/shake the already shaken Chimera. But thats it.

Turn 2: Andrew

Well this gets ugly. the melta-vet squad the psyker was chillin with jump out to pursue the Broadsides. The Psyker manages to do nothing. The other Chimera tank-shocks my Kroot. THEY FAIL BY ONE. so I roll distance. THEY ROLL EXACTLY ENOUGH FOR ONE TO HIT THE TABLE EDGE. So they are removed as casualties from the board. The entire squad. I was not thrilled. Then the drone from my broadside team dies followed by a broadside. The LR tries to template my commander, but he survives by going to ground. lame.

Turn 2: Me

so now i've got the team leader left from my FW. i dodge him down to the objective, and move my Broadside forward. I shoot my SMS and kill several IG. I then use my Crisis suits to pop open the closest Chimera, kill most of its occupants than charge one squad into close combat and ties. the other jumps behind the ruins. My FW team leader runs behind the objective.  I try to assault with my broadside but cant get far enough.

Turn 3: Andrew

My buddy wipes out my commander using the third melta-vet squad which finally disembarks, and uses his LR to wipe out my hiding squad of Crisis suits. He could barely see them, but 2's dont get you cover saves, even with GTG. Oog. And he executes my broadside. In close combat, nothing happens to the crisis suits engaged. I pass my initiative roll and disengage.

Turn 3: Me

My FW team leader scores a kill on the exposed IG squad remnants and pins them, keeping them from re-engaging me in the assualt phase. My Crisis squad opens fire on the commander-killing melta-vet squad and wipes out a lot of them. Enough so they break and run. And that is all.

Turn 4: Andrew

To finish the game, his melta-vets rally. His psyker fails his test and takes a wound. His vets and the LR kill off the last Crisis suit squad. The last mobile chimera and melta-vet squad kill the lone Fire Warrior. Tau tabled. 

Final Thoughts:

This game did not go in my favor. By any count. Statistically popping smoke will allow some survival for your vehicles. But this smoke was crazy effective. And then my inability to make saves also showed up in bright colors this game. Other than that... I think at this point level I should have gone with one Broadside and arranged my points to either introduce another crisis suit squad (deathrain most likely), or introduced pathfinders. Its a tough call with so few points. Worst decision of the game was to use my kroot to charge the Chimera. I had totally forgotten about Tank Shock, and losing them was a game-changer. Horrible call on my part. It was tough being tabled, but I think I may have encouraged it after playing less carefully after failing to touch the IG with my first turn strike. Live and learn, and hope for decent rolls.

Shas'El Mike out.
"Pathfinders lead the way"

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Musings on the upcoming Space Marine

(pic found via Google. Its not mine.)
 Warhammer 40,000. A universe stepped in war, with 15 factions at war with each other until the death. It’s a bleak world, where civiliaztions crumple and all progress comes to a halt. The passion of hate, pain and conflict fuel eternal entities from the “other side” that destroy and twist “this side” of reality wherever they touch it. Peace and Rationality are swept away as they neither motivate races to greater heights of heroism nor do they generate rival entities. In short, as this war for survival struggles on, the forces of Chaos will grow eternally stronger. However, there are no rival non-chaos entities generated, by the nature of the warp. Therefore, all realspace life is doomed. At some point, the fight to survive will give the enemy the stregnth they need to break reality. However, the choice to not fight results in no different a fate. 

This is the world I was drawn to, that on a macro level is only drawn in the darkest colors highlighted by the brightest streaks of heroism and valor. In a world where the commoners serve only to fuel fire, and fascism is humanities only hope, where the Eldar’s only hope is a beneficial extinction, there can only be excellent story-telling. This IP that GW has created has the potential to exceed anything that White Wolf has ever generated. For example, look only at the story of humanity. They expand to the zenith of a massive empire and create technological marvels never before or since seen. Then their technology turns on them, as as millions are slaughtered and planets bake humanity ekes out a narrow win. In the chaos that ensues afterwards only one man can unite humanity, which he does. This fascist government is perpetuated as a religious cult. Now humanties only hope is the paranoid Inquisition, who hopes to keep the enemy at bay by keeping everyone united with single purpose to support the military. Add in people conditioned, born, lobotomized, or otherwise enslaved to the military  and you’ve got a huge setting for epic stories. And that only encompasses 8 factions (space marines, blood angels, space wolves, black templar, imperial guard, witchhunters, sisters of battle, grey knights). 

It makes me very happy inside that 40k made the jump from tabletop to PC. For all their faults as RTS games, the DoW series introduced a great many to the universe, and gave the rest of us a chance to see crazy sights: Necrons reassembling, Chaos Marines summoning Daemons, etc. However, the series had a problem: it suffered from improper storytelling. The Space Marines were the heroes of the universe, backing up the hapless Imperial Guard. The Tau were sharing the equity of communism with whoever they could, and the evil Chaos forces, Necrons and Orks were out to take over the universe. While this makes for an easy story, it does not do the 40k Universe justice. At no point is it pointed out that chaos is a natural offshoot of the human expression of strong emotion, that orks were just following their biological programming, that the necrons are slaves to star gods, or that space marines are used to wipe out those who don’t fall in lock-step with imperial dogma. In short, Lazy walked in and handed moral placards to every race and a simplistic story was born.  

Much like White Wolf’s IP, one of the defining features of the 40k universe is there is no clear-cut protagonists and antagonists. There is no noble race, there is no “just war.” The leaders of every faction plot, scheme and maneuver for power among themselves as well as against other factions. Those who are subordinate either perpetuate the errors of those in charge (the military) or are used and discarded without a blink (the civilan populace). Every race has a dark flaw, whether it be mind-controlling the other castes, or struggling to preserve one’s soul from being swallowed by Chaos. And everyone is fighting a war of survival against everyone else. This is the backdrop against which individual heros are painted, what causes the few noble of heart to shine so brightly. This universe is epic, and dark. No story is simple, the truth is both complex and conveluted. 

            The trailers for Space Marine, the upcoming game by THQ, cause me some degree of concern. It appears that there is a risk that the simplistic morality of the DoW games has shown up again in this game too. Once again you are playing a Space Marine (heaven forbid a game involves playing one of those step-child Xenos), who is out to save a forge world from the onslought of Orks. And also to beat-up some Chaos forces that show up to, for good measure. While certainly this event-outline could be the basis of an excellent story,  the material released so far appears to lean towards the simple side of the story-telling spectrum. Worse, the interviews all push this game as a “kill things and see lots of gore” type of game. Seriously, watch it. That is not ok, 40k-lite or 40k-arcade do not do justice to the mythos. If you want lots of story-less killing and blood, play Painkiller, Quake, Doom, you get the idea. 
For a game to be solid it must create a variety of reactions in the player. A game that simply involves creating a greater and greater wash of blood around your protagonist will flop. If greater and greater, or different stimuli are not thrown at the player, eventually they will go numb. Seeing 15 gallons of blood shoot in the air right now after being subjected to 12 gallons doing the same for the last 4 hours will not create a “wow-effect” in the players mind. It might be fun for the first hour, but after that itll be put on the shelf with the rest of the B-grade games. Only time will tell, but I am concerned about both how Space Marine will treat its source material, as well as what effect its reception will have on further translations of the 40k Mythos.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Blood Angels

So I have finished my first batch of Blood Angels. Mostly. I still have not painted the purity seals, the shoulder insigna, nor the faces of the captain and sergeants. I decided to go with the Angels Encarmine, which are characterized by slightly darker red coloring, black backpacks, gold chest wings, and black-lined shoulder pads. Here are some pics: Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Do You Depend on Your Teammates?

First off, this picture was found on DeviantArt, here

So, now that the legal/technical/ethical issue is out of the way, on to business.

I am musing on whether to take pathfinders or to upgrade my Crisis suit teams to have 'vre leaders. 
Typically, I run with the shas'vre as leader for each Crisis squad, allowing the taking of a shield drone to soak that unlucky template hit. I also take a Devilfish to hide the Firewarriors in. Lately, I can't help but wonder if using Pathfinders wouldn't be a better idea. My typical 1200 pt army list is as follows: 

Crisis commander: ‘el, afp, pr, ta, shield drone: 115
X3 crisis: ‘vre: mp, pr, ta, hwmt, bonding, shield drone. Others: tl-mp, ta,: 208
X3 crisis: ‘vre: mp, pr, ta, hwmt, bonding, shield drone. Others: tl-mp, ta,: 208
X6 firewarriors, devilfish (disruption pod): 145
X12 kroot: 84
X11 kroot: 77
X2 broadsides: ass, ‘vre (knife, tl, shield drone): 185
Hammerhead: tl, mt, dp, railgun, burst cannons: 170

By using dual missile pods on the Crisis squad members, I can allow the entire squad to carry Targetting Arrays, allowing each squad to engage a target at BS4 from, ideally, the first turn. Also, the carrying of a Shield Drone packs in an extra wound an an invuln save. In this manner, I ensure the redundancy of my key unit: my suits. 

However, if i reconfigure my suits to use a x3 basic fireknife setup, I save enough points to field a squad of 4 Pathfinders, which can easily be brought to 6 by pulling some points from elsewhere in the list. Without any upgrades, this would give me 6 marker light shots, which would average out at 3 markers to allocate. Which has its positives and negatives. 

If I go for the 'vre upgrades, the squads are self-reliant. Their BS may never get better, but it will never get worse. Also, they can attack a different target than the other squads and still receive a bonus. The downside is decreasing the number of high-threat squads increases the probability of my Crisis suits being targeted.

If I go for the Pathfinders option, every squad but the Kroot have the option of benefiting from the markers. With an average of 3 hits per round, I could feasibly remove the majority of a cover save as well as allow the key unit to get the BS upgrade. A secondary benefit would be the inclusion of another high-priority target in my army. Because their buffs are so useful, a squad of Pathfinders will definitely absorb their fair share of incoming enemy fire. The biggest downside to this option is the focusing of fire on less units. Centering the benefits on a single unit means increasing the chance that unit is removed from the board entirely, at the expense of another unit not being as accurately targeted.

The other unspoken part of the equation is loadout. As I have talked about in a previous post, plasma cannons on Crisis suits are pretty important. Going with the Pathfinders enables the addition of a bunch more fireknife goodness instead of compromising with a deathwind setup. 

At this point, I honestly think that going with the pathfinders is a better bet. While the individual Crisis squads may not be as self reliant, from a fluff and tactical viewpoint that is acceptable. The reallocation of markerlight benefits, plus the option of choosing how it effects the outcome of this turns shooting phase is a very powerful tool. Also, while loosing the shield drone is kind of intimidating, the loss of just one model will force a leadership check either way. So its best to save points, and spend them on more guns. More guns = more wounds = less chance of CC. And that is always a good thing. 

Shas'El Mike
Do you call this a fight?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

750 Salamander Space Marines v Tau: Or, why lone drop-podding is death

And herein follows the glorious combat between Matt's Space Marines forces and my Tau. The armies were as follows:

+ 1 HQ Crisis Commander - Shas'el, air fragmentation grenade launcher, plasma rifle, targeting array, hw multi-tracker
+ 1 Crisis Suit squad x2 - Plasma rifle, Missile Pod, multi-tracker, shas'vre: bonding kife, hw drone-controller, 2 shield drones, targetting array
+ 1 Fire Warrior squad x7 - shas'ui: bonding knife, drone controller, shield drone
+ 1 kroot squad x15
+ 1 Broadside squad: Shas'vre: advanced stabilization system, bonding knife, hw drone controller, shield drone
+ 1 Hammerhead tank: ion cannon, burst cannons x2, disruption pod, fletchette launcher, targetting array, multi tracker


1 HQ: Commander: terminator armor, storm bolter and power sword
2 Space Marine squads x10: 1 flamer, 1 krak missile launcher, boltguns, sargeant w/ chainsword and pistol
1 terminator squad x5: storm bolters, thunder shields power fists
2 drop pods

We roll for map type: spearhead
we roll for battle type: annihlation.

we randomly setup terrain, the index cards are difficult terrain, no impassible terrain this combat. Matt goes first.

Setup: matt doesnt have anyone on table. I Setup in a line with everyone fairly accessible to each other. My commander is attached to the crisis suit squad.

Turn 1: Matt deepstrikes his first marine squad in. He immediately splits them into 2 smaller squads, the special weapons split between the two squads. he opens fire on my crisis suits, scores two hits which my Crisis Suit shield drones shrug off.

flank ambush!

things get hairy

Turn 1 me: I move my hammerhead on a diagonal left, fire warriors run for the middle of the map, the broadside advances into the difficult terrain straight in front of it, the kroot move towards the marines, and the crisis suits move on a diagonal-right to be on top of the squad.The crisis suits and broadside open fire and wipe out one squad. the hammerhead kills maybe 1, the kroot assault and finish everybody else off.

kroot v marines...

lunch time!

Turn 2: Matt successfully drops his other drop pod in the middle of the map, as well as his commander off to the right side. He immediately splits his marine squad again. he opens fire on the crisis suits and kills the suit commander and shield drone. the drop pods don't kill anyone and the commander advances.


Turn 2: me: the hammerhead backs up further to have a clear shot at either squad. the fire warriors advance into rapid fire range. the crisis suits move closer to the commander to get out of the kroots way, who advance on the new squad. the hammerhead kills 1 with an ion hit, 2 with burst cannons. the broadside kills another with a missile  salvo and the fire warriors miss the guy with the missile. the crisis suit squad scores a four on the other squad, 3 plasma rifles and 1 grenade. the kroot chicken out of the assault and execute the remaining sergeant with a bazillion shots. and the crisis suits jump to what i believe is a safe distance from the commander.

lone ranger

Turn 3: Matt: Terminators do not come in. the commander advances on the crisis suits, the drop pods do not score any wounds. the space marine with the krak launcher wrecks my hammerhead in one hit! it dies, being 11 inches away, therefore not getting a cover the assault phase, the commander assaults my crisis suits, and wipes out the regular one. my commander breaks and runs in fear, and is mopped-up without mercy. Tough turn for Tau.

here lies my crisis suits...

Turn 3: Me: the kroot advance. the broadside takes a shot at him with a railgun, he soaks it up making a 5+ invuln save. yikes. the fire warriors advance to the center of the map in case of whatever. the kroot assualt, loose a couple, and score two wounds.

Turn 4: Matt: Terminators arrive! They gun down 5 of the 7 fire warriors without remorse. In the assault phase, the commander dishes out another death to an unlucky kroot, who respond by pulling him both down and apart! again the drop pods hit nothing.

think custers last stand...

Turn 4: Me: the broadside moves back and fires at the terminators, they soak up a railgun hit with an invuln save.the kroot run towards the terminators, using the drop pod as cover. the fire warrior successfully pass their morale test and move to hide behind the wreckage. At this point it dawns on me that in terms of kill points my dead forces are worth more than his dead forces. quick math reveals that he is going to be 1 point ahead of me when the fire warriors die. ugh.

this is getting risky..

Turn 5: Matt: The terminators ignore the Broadside whose shots they have been ignoring, and they execute the lone remaining fire warrior. A casket for him will be unnecessary. Then, the drop pods kill a couple Kroot.

Turn 5 Me: Realizing the folly of the Kroots current plan in relation to kill points, they turn tail and run, using the central drop pod as cover. The broadside scores a hit and destroys the flanking drop pod, bringing Matt and I to a tie in kill points.

one foul pod down...

Turn 6: Matt: Matt rolls, the game continues on. Moving the Terminators for a better view, he guns down the majority of the Kroot. The drop pods finish off all but one of them. Morale saves are in order.

Turn 6: Me: the lone Kroot fails his morale save badly. Rolling for fleeing, he does, but not off the table. The good news, is that the unit only gives up a KP if it is destroyed entirely. So it still holds its KP. the Broadside takes a shot at the other drop pod... IT HITS ... IT DESTROYS IT!!!!


Final Result: Tau win, 7kp to 6kp.
Survivors: Terminators squad, Broadside squad.


I haven't had much time this week to ponder my next post, still working on the next genius inspiration. So, I figured I would post one of my Tau's closer victories and discuss it.

This was a tough battle for Tau, due to the lack of CC options. So, it is absolutely essential that every squad that gets near dies. Every one, which is a bit of an unforgiving demand. Fortunately, half of all drop pods come in turn one, the rest turn two. Rule number one for drop-podding should be: Bring 3 or more! Otherwise, your squads get fed piecemeal. And that is never pretty.

The other oddity about this battle involves the KP system. Because there is 1 KP per squad, and 1 per leader, My army started out with more KP on the table. In effect, this means that I have to work harder to keep my forces alive as well as kill his forces. If we both lost, say 50% of our forces then he would be the victor. I did not realize this until the game is almost over, when it occured to me that I had better kill the drop pods or else i'd lose the game.

This battle had several surprises for me. The first was a start of a trend, where my Hammerhead dies the same turn as its hit, which has continued for the last 3 games. I can't describe how annoying it is, for such an awesome tank to be totally plastered the first round it is shot at. Typically, it doesn't pay for itself. Also, this battle I decided to try out the ion-cannon before i swap the modeled piece out. It was highly average. I am thinking I may stick with the railgun. The other trend, was the success of the Kroot. This marked the first post-3++ game I played, where I took them instead of Fire Warriors. I must say, I am impressed. While I don't particularly care for Kroot (which the careful eye can detect by lack of care in painting them), they are quite effective at mopping up after Crisis suits and tar-pitting powerful characters. It surprised me how many kills my Kroot pulled off before they decided to almost all die and run almost off the map.

All in all, it was a good game, with lots of enjoyable moments. I will post more batreps in the future. Until then, enjoy the storm, enjoy something warm and tasty.

"Point us at the target"

Shas'el Mike