Sunday, March 2, 2008

TAU versus Chaos Space Marines

Game: Warhammer 40,000 3rd edition (with 4th edition trial rules)
Opponent: Gary
Mission: Meatgrinder
Location: Rabux
Background: The Tau continue their expansion into the sub-sector, landing on Rabux. Unfortunately for them, the planet is not as uninhabited as they thought, and they are attacked by frenzied Khornate Space Marines
Imperial Control: Unchanged
1st turn: Tau
Points: 1500

  • Aun’El’Tau’M’yenEthereal
  • Shas’O’Tau’Ko’Vash’Ch’ien’Shi Shas’O - plasma rifle, fusion blaster, shield generator, Crisisbattle suit with twin-linked plasma rifles and missile pod
  • Shas’Ui’Tau’Ho’Lu’Demlock - 2 Crisis battlesuits with plasma rifle, missile pod and multitracker
  • Shas’Ui’Tau’Kais’Coar'Mal - 5 stealthsuits
  • Shas’Ui’Tau’Kais’Mal’Coar - 5 stealthsuits
  • Shas’La’Tau’Han’Dan - 9 Fire warriors, all with pulse rifles, Shas’ui
  • Shas’La’Tau’Mont’Yr - 9 Fire warriors, all with pulse rifles, Shas’ui
  • Shas’La’Tau’Mull’Kin’Tyr - 6 Fire warriors, all with pulse rifles, Shas’ui, Devilfish with Multi-tracker
  • Murabla - 16 Kroot
  • Shas’La’Tau’Tam’La’Mo’Town - 6 Pathfinders, Devilfish with decoy launchers, multi-tracker and two seeker missiles
  • Shas’Ui’Tau’Yu’Rang - 2 Broadsides with twin linked railguns, smart missile system and Multi-trackers
  • Shas’La’Tau’Or’Es’Mont’Ka - Hammerhead with Ion Cannon, smart missile system, multitracker, blacksun filter, decoy launchers, seeker missile
Chaos Space Marines
  • Glaive Lieutenant
  • 8 Marines with Bolt pistols and Close Combat Weapons, aspiring champion with Daemonic Talons, rhino
  • 8 Marines with Bolt pistols and Close Combat Weapons, aspiring champion with Daemonic Talons, rhino
  • 5 Havocs with 4 missile launchers
  • 8 Bloodletters
  • 8 Fleshounds
  • 8 Khorne Berzerkers, Aspiring champion with powerfist, Defiler with mutated Hull
We played this game using the old 3rd edition rules with the addition of the 4th edition notes, allowing, amongst other things, my Tau jet packs to move 12", my Firewarriors to rapid fire Pulse rifles on the move, and units to be pinned if their Rhinos are destroyed.

Terrain and Deployment
We fought this game on a six foot table packed with terrain. Gary had two woods, a hill and several buildings in his deployment zone, while I had a large hill and a wood on my left, a big building on my right and small scattered pieces in between.

I was more than happy to take this side as I knew the Chaos units would have to come out of the cover into the open to try and engage me in an assault - especially when we rolled the Meatgrinder mission with the Chaos as attackers. Gary had a stiff test ahead of him.

From left to right I had my Pathfinders on the hill, facing Gary's newly painted Defiler, my Kroot in the wood with the Broadsides and a Stealth team behind, the three Fire Warrior squads, the Ethereal, a Stealth team, and the Demlock Crisis suits across the middle, facing the Chaos Rhino rush, and the Hammerhead and Shas'O behind the building on my right, opposite Gary's Havocs.

The Game
I won first turn and took it. I pushed my Crisis suits and Stealth team forward, skirting the edges of the forests which the Chaos Rhinos were lurking behind, and they destroyed both transports, pinning the units as they tried to escape the wreckage. The suits then withdrew safely away. On the left my Pathfinders shot their Markerlights at the Defiler and put three Seeker missiles on it, exploding the beast. An excellent first turn.

Gary was really on the back foot and both Marine Squads in the centre never advanced past the wood, as they rolled poor difficult terrain checks and tried to hide from the main Tau firepower.

His attack on the left was more successful as the Berzerkers used the large building to advance upon the Shas'o and they summoned the Fleshounds. Although the Berzerkers were eventually wiped out, along with the 'hounds, they did kill the Shas'o and a Fire Warrior squad.

The Bloodletters arrived on the left with a kind scatter, putting them within assault range of the Kroot. Under the old rules the Bloodletters would have slaughtered the Kroot but the fight was now more even, as the 16 Kroot, including the back rank, got all of their attacks. Nevertheless, the 'letters prevailed, but the longer combat had allowed the Broadsides to retreat out of consolidation range. The Stealth team should have killed off the remaining couple of Daemons but they fluffed their rolls and were charged and wiped out.

At that point the game ended and I had won, having survived with the Hammerhead, two Fire Warrior squads, a Crisis Team and a Stealth team.

Result: Win

Learning points
  • The new rules made the Tau very powerful in this game, particularly the Jetpacks, allowing me to pop the rhinos on turn one, and then keep all of my suits away from the Chaos forces.
  • Gary made a lot of uncharacteristic mistakes in this game, partly I think due to the mission, which is very hard for the attacker to win. He had all but given up before we began, then I popped the rhinos and he gave up altogether.

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