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


  1. Hey guys... good batrep! I always prefer an illustrated after-action report to a wall of text!

    One question though: how did the Marine player have both storm bolter/power fist AND thunder hammer/ storm shield Termies in the same squad? You can only have one or the other...

  2. thanks for the question! i was going over that section of the batrep and i don't believe they were actually assigned thunder hammers. i believe i was referring to the little shield-shaped piece on the AoBR Terminators. So, as an addendum, I don't believe they had SS's on them.

    Thanks for the input!

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