Friday, 5 October 2018

Tau vs Tzeentch

Targets of Opportunity

Mission Source: Chapter Approved 2017
Mission: Maelstrom of War - Targets of Opportunity
Points: 2000
Armies: Chaos Space Marines - Tzeentch / Tau Empire - Tau Sept


So, this was the first time my opponent had ever faced Tau. Ever. So as a basic introduction, I took my Mechanized Infantry list. I didn't get a copy of his list, so I don't know all the particulars, and will have to go off the pictures.

Tau Empire - Tau Sept


Battalion

HQ     Longstrike, Ion Cannon, Smart Missile System, 2 x Seeker Missiles
HQ     Commander in XV8, Iridium Armour, 3 Fusion Blasters, Shield Drone

T       Shas'ui w/ Markerlight, 5 Fire Warriors
T       Shas'ui w/ Markerlight, 5 Fire Warriors
T       Shas'ui w/ Markerlight, 5 Fire Warriors
T       Shas'ui w/ Markerlight, 5 Fire Warriors
T       Shas'ui w/ Markerlight, 5 Fire Warriors
T       Shas'ui w/ Markerlight, 5 Fire Warriors

FA     2 Piranhas w/ Fusion Blaster, 2 x Seeker Missile
FA     2 Piranhas w/ Fusion Blaster, 2 x Seeker Missile
FA     Shas'ui Pathfinder, 9 x Pathfinders

HS     Hammerhead, Railgun, Smart Missile System, 2 x Seeker Missiles
HS     Hammerhead, Railgun, Smart Missile System, 2 x Seeker Missiles
HS     Hammerhead, Railgun, Smart Missile System, 2 x Seeker Missiles


DT     Devilfish, 2 x Seeker Missiles
DT     Devilfish, 2 x Seeker Missiles
DT     Devilfish, 2 x Seeker Missiles

Tzeentch

So, I'm going ff memory here. I think he had something like the following;

HQ     Ahriman on disk
HQ     Exalted Sorcerer on disk
HQ     Exalted Sorcerer
HQ     Sorcerer

T       Aspiring Sorcerer w/ 5 Rubric Marines
T       Aspiring Sorcerer w/ 5 Rubric Marines

FA     Helldrake
FA     4 Chaos Spawn

EL     Aspiring Terminator Sorcerer w/ 4 Occult Terminators

HS     Chaos Land Raider

DT     Rhino
DT     Rhino

Pre-game

So, we alternated placing 6 objectives with the number sides down, Tzeentch had to place a unit first, according to the mission. They also finished deploying first, so got the +1 to go first, which they did.

Tau failed to Seize, and off we went!

Turn 1 - Tzeentch


I forgot to take a picture after deployment. That's what happens when you stop blogging for over a year. I also forgot to note what Tactical Objectives we drew each turn. Yep, pretty on the ball this game.

Objectives

Three objectives were drawn, but only one was actually achievable. Kill something.

Movement

Anyway, the forces of Chaos all moved forward, including a Helldrake which moved up the right side of the Chaos line.

Psychic

The two Sorcerer's by the Land Raider cast spells on it to make it hit better, and make it harder for me to hit? I think. 

Also, the Sorcerer's who could Smited my closest Devilfish, damaging it.

Shooting

Basically everything that could, fired at the damaged Devilfish but couldn't kill it.

The Helldrake baleflamed the Piranha team by the board edge, and killed one outright. The remaining Piranha rolled a 6 for it's Ld, which would have killed it as well. So a Command Reroll was needed, and the Piranha remained in the fight.

Assault

None this turn.

Score

Tzeentch - 0
Tau - 0

Turn 1 - Tau

Objectives

Drew three objectives, can't remember what they were.

Movement

There was no need to move. 

Psychic

Huh. Wassat?

Shooting

Pathfinders lit up the Helldrake with 3 Markerlight hits.

The Devilfish that are further away from the Helldrake fired their Seeker Missiles at it, as well as both teams of Piranhas. That volley was enough to turn the flyer into little steaming bits of debris.

The Hammerheads all fired at the Land Raider. The Hammerheads with the help of the rest of the available Seeker Missiles took it down to 6 Wounds. 

Here, we made one of two rather interesting rule interpretations that turned out to be wrong. I was under the impression that Longstrike's ability to give +1 BS to himself and Hammerheads within 6" meant that he hit automatically, and the other Hammerheads would as well if they got the additional +1 to hit from 5 Markerlight hits. Turns out, that would be cheating. But we played it that way.

My opponent pointed out that his army had a similar rule, but relating to Armour Saves. When certain Tzeentch units get shot by Damage 1 weapons, they get +1 to their Save. On a Terminator unit, to me that meant they auto passed their saves vs Dmg 1 weapons. I thought that was amazing! Totally fluffy. And totally wrong, apparently.

So, keep in mind we played with those wrong rules. Made things interesting, to say the least.

Assault

Tau, remember? 

Score

Tzeentch - 0
Tau - 2 (Sec Obj, First Blood)


Turn 2 - Tzeentch


That black blob against the wall is 5 Occult Terminators.
Pic Before Movement phase.

Objectives

Three objectives drawn, one of which could be, and was, achieved.

Movement

Again, everything moved forward in an attempt to get into close combat with the Tau, now that Tzeentch had gotten a taste of Tau firepower.

The Terminator unit Deep Strike'd  behind the Tau lines.

Psychic

There were some Smites, I think a power that allowed the Spawn to move again, thereby ensuring they could get into close combat, and some powers to buff the Land Raider again. I think it had an invul save?

Shooting

The Land Raider finished off the damaged Devilfish. The left hand Rhino fired at the nearest Devilfish over there on the left side to minimal effect.

A rather dismal shooting phase saw not much damage inflicted, really.

Assault

The Terminators failed to charge the damaged Devilfish, but the Spawn made it into assault. Rolling theur random ability, they got AP -4, and promptly smashed the Devilfish. One Fire Warrior from each team inside died as they disembarked, and the Spawn Consolidated into the nearest team.


End of Tzeentch Turn 2. Termies failed charge, but Spawn wrecked
a Devilfish.

Score

Tzeentch - 0
Tau - 2 (Sec Obj, FB)


Turn 2 - Tau

Objectives

Needed to Secure an Obj I was already on, and kill something in the shooting phase.

Movement

The two Devilfish on the left both disembarked their teams and moved forward. The teams all moved forward as well, trying to get as many markerlights available to put on targets. The Piranhas all moved to move block the Terminators and fire them up with their fusion blasters. The Fire Warrior team that was in assault with Spawn did a Fall Back move. The Commander Deep Struck to try to assassinate Ahriman.

Psychic

Nope.

Shooting

Hammerheads continued wrecking the Land Raider and damaged the right hand Rhino. The Piranhas killed 2 Terminators. Various small arms killed off the Spawn. The Commander was forced to add his shots into killing the Land Raider. The left side Devilfish piled some more damage on the Rhino in front of them.

Assault

No sir.

Score

Tzeentch - 0
Tau - 4 (Sec Ob, FB, Sec Obj, Kill something)

Tau firepower starting to take its toll on the Tzeentch line.


Turn 3 - Tzeentch


Summary

I think my opponent drew three tactical objectives he couldn't achieve, again. This is the biggest knock I have against the Maelstrom missions. You can just get screwed and it has no bearing on how good you are at the game.

So, at this point Tzeentch had no viable anti-tank weapons other than a land Raider hitting on 5+ and Smite spam. He did try to utilize those tools as best he could, as well as charging his termies into my Piranhas, but it just wasn't enough at this point. And his Psychic phase was not helpful, with more powers failing to manifest than what he was able to cast successfully.

He did Smite bomb my Commander and Shield Drone rather effectively. 

Tzeentch forces looking rather thin.

Score

Tzeentch - 1 (StW)
Tau - 4 (Sec Obj, FB, Sec Obj, Kill Something)

Turn 3 - Tau

Summary

Piranhas Fell Back from the termies, to just behind the termies, ready to light them up with fusion blasters again, which they did, aided by Longstrikes overcharged ion cannon, to wipe out the termies.

The Hammerheads finally finished off the Land Raider, and the right hand Rhino. At this point the forces of Tzeentch had had enough. With few units left, and the core of the Tau gunline mostly untouched, they withdrew, so the survivors could fight another day.

I also drew three more tactical objectives, at least one of which I could accomplish, if not two.

Score

Tzeentch - 1 (Slay the Warlord)
Tau - 5 (Sec Obj, FB, Sec Obj, Kill Something, Sec Obj)





Game Summary

Smite spam is still powerful. It would be even better if All is Dust actually worked the way I thought it did. So, some rules misinterpretations aside, it was a fun game for an intro to Tau. 

I am anticipating something evil and mean the next time I face off with the forces of Tzeentch, the ways of the chaos gods are always perfidious and vile.

Until next time, happy gaming!

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