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1000 points Tau Vs Imperial Fists: Big Guns Never Tire

Submitted By: Wyddr Date: October 26, 2012, 10:58:42 AM Views: 2867
Summary: A game serving to introduce a friend to 40K and featuring the Tau versus the Imperial Fists.

1000 point Tau Vs Imperial Fists: Big Guns Never Tire

The Manta Reasonable Assumption of Victory coasted silently and calmly through the stratosphere of the Gue'la planet, its various electronic countermeasures reducing its visible silhouette from ground and space to almost nothing. If one did manage to see it, it would have coasted by like a particularly dense cloud with no evidence of its passing besides the fleeting impression left on the retina of the viewer.

Inside, however, things were utter chaos. Well, utter chaos for the Tau. Thirty Shas'la bent over complex holographic displays, their dark eyes utterly focused, their thin lips quivering with sub-vocally delivered orders and communication relays. Fat analytical drones coasted up and down the aisles of the CiC center, assisting their masters with complex calculations and automatically re-routing certain information to the command seat at the head of the room. There, Shas'el Koshra Vaers massaged his temples as he tried to stay ahead of the flood of data burying him in chart after holographic chart. The invasion, by all accounts, was going smoothly, but his untested Cadre was getting somewhat...overenth usiastic with the quality of their reportage. He tapped a few icons to schedule extra communique prioritization training during their next voyage. Most of what he was looking at were largely useless statistical models tracking ammunition usage, accuracy reports, and casualty projections from a dozen different engagements. Though the math looked sound in most instances, much of the compilation of this data was completely premature and, consequently, El'Koshra found himself bombarded every few seconds by new and revised charts and graphs. And then again a few seconds later.

The Tau commander quickly wrote himself a filter to cut down on the statistical chatter, which nicely limited the amount of information he was getting sent; the rest of it he shunted back to the statistical drones, who seemed to like nothing better than to crunch pointless numbers for no particular reason for hours on end. He imagined their conclusions from this stage battle would be insightful, but they wouldn't be so for at least two or three decs following the conclusion of the engagement.

Koshra sighed and now focused his attention on more pressing tactical concerns. He was pleased to find there weren't many--the Tau attack had caught the Gue'la defenders mostly off guard. There was, however, one starred for his attention that looked troubling. When he opened the channel, he heard the faintly annoyed voice of Ui'Catho aboard the Hammerhead gunship
Impolite Disagreement. "Gue'la in heavy armor occupying sectors three and four in fortified position. They have refused to respond to surrender requests, despite our numerical superiority."

Koshra checked the image: Huge Gue'la in golden armor, each practically the size of a Krootox. The Shas'el grimaced: Astartes.

He hit the intercoms to the lower deck and to the pilot's nest: "Kor'vre, alter course 12.3 degrees south; Shas'el Vresh, assemble your team for interdiction; sectors two and three will require backup in less than .3 decs. Let's hurry up, everyone. Tau'va."

Sitting back, Koshra massaged his temples again--Astartes...he should have expected as much. He only hoped the
Assumption could get there in time.

My friend Drew is considering getting into the game, which excites me to no end. A week or so ago, I whipped together a pair of 1000 point lists that I felt would reasonably demonstrate most of the major aspects of the game and pitted my Tau against my Imperial Fists, with him using the Fists. Here are the lists:

Tau Search and Destroy Cadre
HQ
Shas'el w/Plasma Rifle, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Targeting Array, Hard-wired Multi-tracker, Shield Drone

Elites
3 'Deathrain Pattern' Crisis Suits (TL Missile Pods, Flamers)
3 'Burning Eye Pattern' Crisis Suits (TL Plasma Rifles, Flamers)
3 XV15 Stealth Suits w/Team Leader + 2 Gun Drones

Troops
10 Fire Warriors w/Shas'ui, Photon Grenades, Pulse Rifles
--in Devilfish w/Disruption Pod
10 Kroot

Heavy Support
1 Hammerhead w/Railgun, Burst Cannons, Target Lock, Multi-tracker, Disruption Pod, Blacksun Filter


Imperial Fists Garrison Detachment
HQ
Librarian 'Nestor' (Codicier; Smite and Machine Curse) 

Elites
Dreadnought 'Brother Hektor' w/Plasma Cannon
5 Tactical Terminators w/Cyclone Missile Launcher

Troops
Tactical Squad Attica w/Flamer, Missile Launcher, Plasma Pistol, Melta Bombs
--in Razorback w/TL Heavy Bolters
Tactical Squad Macedon w/Meltagun, Multi-melta, Power Sword
--in Drop Pod

Heavy Support
Thunderfire Cannon

Mission, Terrain, and Deployment
We rolled Hammer and Anvil for deployment, with Drew's Fists coming from the west and me coming from the east. Terrain featured four large ruins and a lot of tangle-wire, rubble, and tank traps. There was a ruin in the NW, a big double-ruin in the NE, a ruin along the south-central side of the board, and then a small, single-floor ruin in the SW. There was a little shack in the NE, and the aforementioned walls and such scattered about. There were five objectives:

-One at the corner of the NW ruin
-One at the corner of the NE double ruin
-One in the South ruin
-One in the SW ruin
-One in the East, in a park (mostly in the open)

I won the roll off and deployed my Hammerhead pretty far back and in a central position, as its railgun was well suited to ranging the enemy. The Devilfish with its cargo of Fire Warriors deployed closer to the starting line and a bit towards the south, with the intention of contesting the objective in the south ruin. The Deathrain suits deployed behind the NE ruin while the Kroot infiltrated into that same ruin, occupying all floors of the four-story building, and secured that objective early on (it gave me Skyfire...whoop-dee do). The Stealth Team Infiltrated into the southern ruin to support the FW team.

Drew, for his first game of 40K ever, deployed the Thunderfire Cannon in the SW ruin (bolstered by the Techmarine) and had the assault half of Tac Squad Attica (with Librarian Nestor) in the Razorback just behind. Hektor and Missile Attica deployed behind the NW ruin, securing that objective (it would reduce my charge distance if, in some fit of lunacy, I decided to have on of my units charge space marines in cover). Macedon in drop pod and the Terminator squad elected to deep strike.

As for warlord traits, I got Strategic Genius, which didn't wind up mattering. Drew got something else irrelevant, too. Eh. I feel like Warlord traits will become much more interesting as the new army books provide army-specific ones. The chaos one, for instance, isn't half bad.

Deployment:


Fists Deployment
Tau Deployment

Turn 1
Drew fails to steal the initiative and there is no night fighting. Again. Seriously, this is like my sixth game in a row with no first-turn night fighting. Talk about your statistical outliers!

Anyway, my first and primary objective for this turn is to kill that Thunderfire Cannon, which has been thoughtfully deployed in line of sight and reasonably close to my lines. Part of this may have been the terrain distribution, but another part of it was Drew going for cover over using the TFC's superior range to stay out of reach of many of my units. In any event, the Stealth Team and Deathrain suits drop a lot of firepower on the TFC and blow up the cannon, though the Techmarine is alive and well and hunkered down in 3+ cover. He I will save for later, even with the First Blood point hanging in the balance. Anyway, the Hammerhead moves south a bit and takes a shot at the Razorback but only manages a glance for one hull point while the Devilfish moves flat-out towards the south ruin and its objective. The Deathrains jump back behind the NE ruin and the Stealths try to jump out of the south ruin, but some of them have to stay thanks to a lackluster jetpack move. It's fine, though, since they still have that magic cover save to keep them cooking.

Oh, the Kroot also discover that nothing is quite in range/LOS for their rifles, and resign to spend the game quietly doing nothing and earning me an objective. 

Top of Turn 1


Stealths try to jump out of the ruin, but don't quite manage it

Now, in the bottom of turn one comes Drew and his Drop Pod full of tactical marines. I'm honestly concerned where they're going to land, seeing how a big unit like that can be a royal pain the the butt. He winds up dropping them just north of the park in the heart of my deployment zone. They pop out, keep themselves as one big unit, and rapid fire my Deathrains. The multi-melta scores a hit on a snapshot and instakills one and another takes a single wound. That could have been a lot worse.

Elsewhere, the Razorback puts the pedal to the metal and drives towards my position at full cruising speed, snap-shooting its heavy bolters along the way (scored hits, but the Stealth Magic Save meant only a drone died). Then, in a slight deviation from the map below, Hektor and Attica-Missile fired their weapons at my Devilfish, evading its magical flat-out Disruption Pod save (absolutely *loving* Tau tech this edition) for one hull point of damage and little else. The Techmarine stays in the ruins and gazes mournfully at the wreck of his nice artillery piece and sees if he can place a call to his insurance provider. The line is busy.

Bottom of Turn 1


Eeep! Yellow Marines!

Turn 2
So, there is a confrontation brewing over the objective in that southern ruin. I can let the Marines in their Razorback have it and then plan to dig them out, *or* I can take it first and see if I can't stop them from getting there in the first place. Being an typically aggressive player, I go for the latter. The Devilfish scoots up and drops its cargo of Fire Warriors into the ruin, wherein I discover that the objective is also a bomb (sigh...awesome). Then the Devilfish, Stealth Team, and Deathrain suits try to blow up that Razorback. They don't do so well, though, and all I really manage is taking off a single hull point. Boo! So, rather than take down the Razorback with a full FW volley and leave the guys inside ready to charge me next turn, I shoot the Techmarine and destroy him (not pictured on the map...it's been a while since this game and some of the details on the map aren't quite right--apologies, all). This nets me 2VP for First Blood and for killing a Heavy Support choice. It does not, however, protect me from the Combat Squad + Librarian that's heading towards me.

Elsewhere, my Burning Eye Suits + Shas'el show up (despite the fact I tried to re-roll them into not showing up...thanks for nothing, Warlord Trait), and so they land and pound Tac Squad Macedon along with the drones from the Devilfish (who disembarked before the thing moved) and the Hammerhead. In the end, I only kill four marines, which isn't all that spectacular, but I do nab the meltagun out of the squad. I use my jetpack moves to put distance between my Suits and Macedon, using the drones as a stumbling block. The Deathrain suits, in trying to jump behind the NE ruins, don't roll high enough and one is forced to land in dangerous terrain. I fail the test, fail my save, and lose a whole suit. Damn.

On the bright side, my objective in the south ruin doesn't explode. Yet.

Top of Turn 2:


All that Pulse Fire can't make the stop
Macedon weathers the storm well
I'm glad Last Man Standing checks are gone

In the bottom of two, after the terminators fail to show up (yay!), Drew disembarks his combat squad + Librarian and piles a good amount of firepower into my FWs. Having Photon Grenades actually pays off here against Smite and the plasma pistol, and I only wind up losing four guys and the enemy can't charge me. Tac Squad Macedon moves towards my Crisis Suits and shoots as best it can, but it fails to do any damage and isn't really close enough to risk an assault (and the plasma-heavy stand and shoot reaction that involves). Other firepower is directed against the Stealth team from somewhere (Attica, I think), and I lose a drone. Hektor shoots at the Devilfish but does no damage. 

Bottom of Turn 2


Cue Close-range firefight! 

Turn 3
In the top of three I do my best to obliterate Macedon, using the drones and the Burning Eyes plus the Hammerhead to knock them down to two models (boy, but those guys *hang on!*). Elsewhere, the Devilfish (shown here killing the Techmarine--disregard), Firewarriors, and Stealth Team all fire at the combat squad and do well (the Stealths, in particular, are performing well this game) and kill the whole combat squad, leaving the Librarian alone. The Librarian fails a morale check (that's correct, right? He's not in the unit any more, but he still needs to take a check, right?) and falls back to the SW ruin. The Deathrain puts the final hull point on the Razorback and I've successfully defended my objective. It then, of course, promptly explodes at the end of the turn, killing two firewarriors. Not a bad turn.

Top of Turn 3


In the bottom of turn three, those cursed terminators show up. They drop just south of my Burning Eye suits and pound them with krak missiles and stormbolter fire. I, naturally, promptly forget all about 'Look Out Sir' and allow my commander to get instakilled by a krak missile (d'oh! Why can't I remember that stupid rule?), causing the whole remaining unit of just two suits to fall back. Macedon shoots things and does nothing, as does Hektor. Attica shoots a frag missile at the Firewarriors, killing one, while the Librarian (who auto-rallied due to Marine Awesomeness) tries to Machine Curse my Devilfish and does a wound to himself with Perils of the Warp, though the power does go off. He misses, though.

Bottom of Turn 3


Eeep! Terminators!
Run Away! Run Away!

Turn 4
Top of turn four, my priorities are now to kill those Terminators before they wreck my face. The Crisis suits rally, thank goodness, and the Terminators proceed to eat eight plasma shots, 15 burst cannon shots (from the Stealths and Hammerhead), a submunition round, and 6-ish pulse rifle shots. Due to some good luck, this winds up killing the lot of them (yay!). The two devilfish drones hit and wound twice on the last two members of Macedon and Drew's bad armour save luck keeps up, losing him the unit. The missile pod and Devilfish try for the Librarian, but I don't pull it off.

Top of turn 4


With the game more-or-less in the bag for me, Drew resolves to play it out to the bitter end (he'll fit right in for this game!). He bravely tries to knock down my Devilfish one more time with Hektor and the Machine Curse, but to no avail. Attica tries to take out my Fire Warriors (I think) but misses.

Bottom of Turn 4


Turn 5
No map really necessary here--the Librarian is done in by the Stealths and Devilfish, the Fire Warriors knock off two Marines hunkered down by the NW objective, and the Hammerhead nukes Hektor. Game over.

The Imperial Fists Still Will Not Retreat

Final Score
Tau: 6 (Objectives) + 1 (First Blood) + 1 (Warlord) + 1 (TFC) = 9
Fists: 3 (Objectives) + 1 (Warlord) = 4

Post Mortem
Well, as far as 'first games ever' go, Drew did pretty well. I think he dropped Macedon in the wrong place (better to position them to take out the Kroot and then occupy that objective) and directed his fire towards the wrong things (no reason to keep shooting my Devilfish when he could have been shooting my Fire Warriors; the Terminators should have gone for the Hammerhead for the point), but not too bad for someone starting cold turkey. He'll get better quickly, I'd wager. The important thing is that both he and I had fun and it wasn't a complete blow out (his final score was respectable, really). He never really got to try-out assault, but realizing the getting into assault is tough this edition is a worthwhile lesson in and of itself.

As for my own army, I was duly impressed with the Stealth Team, which has consistently let me down in earlier editions. They are now much more durable, which is important, and they may just get themselves squeezed into lists more often.

Anyway, it was a fun game and thanks for reading. Thanks to my opponent, too, who sounds as though he may be joining the forces of Chaos.

Rating: **** by 1 members.

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