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Saturday February 24th 2018

TSC Round 5 Tau vs Chaos Marines

Round 5 Tau (Garry) vs Chaos Marines (Leigh)
Spearhead, Annihilation

Fire Warriors and Khorne Berzerkers collide over the ancient ruins of a lifeless world.

Battlefield:

A central set of arcane ruins stands out above scattered ruins around the battlefield. Two opposite corners of the table consist of elevated terrain, protected by cratered grounds and barbed wire.

Deployment:

The Tau form a highly defensive gunline in an elevated corner of the field with two Fire Warrior teams flanking the pathfinders. My third Fire Warrior team equipped with Carbines remain onboard their Devilfish transport toward the left flank, and both sides are overlooked by Hammerhead gunships.

Leigh deploys his Chaos Rhino transports and Land Raider behind the central ruins, away from direct line of sight. A Chaos Sorceror and his Chaos Terminators are embarked in the Land Raider, while the Rhinos contan Khorne Berzerkers, Huron Blackheart and Chaos Chosen. A squad of Chaos Marines deploy defensively in area terrain.

Keeping in mind that Leigh will deep-strike a squad of Obliterators, I infiltrate a Kroot Squad in some area terrain across the board, and the other toward the centre to contest the ruins and oversee potential deep-strike zones.

Battle:

Again, I got the first move (I think I got to go first in most of my games this tournament). My centrally-placed Kroot squad wastes no time dashing into the ruins in the middle of the board.

My Devilfish transports cruise forward, spaced evenly apart to provide cover for my battlesuits following behind. Gun drones disembark from the transports and begin taking shots into the entrenched Chaos Tactical Squad. One of my Hammerhead gunships wreck one of the Chaos Rhinos, forcing the Berzerkers and Huron Blackheart to disembark.

Chaos Rhinos pop smoke and charge into a hail of Tau fire

Leigh’s Rhinos race toward my weaker right flank and pop smoke grenades to avoid the same fate as the destroyed tank. Heavy weapons from the entrenched Marines fire unsuccessfully into my closing Devilfish skimmer tanks thanks to their Disruption Pods.

The Land Raider barrels ominously closer to my lines, and immobilise my leading Devilfish with a lascannon shot to the side. Blackheart’s Berzerkers head toward the central ruins to meet my Kroot warriors.

Rather than charging the Berzerkers and risk losing combat, the Kroot fall back toward my battlesuits. Battlesuits in the centre of my line peel away to meet the transports rapidly advancing on my right flank and successfully stun another Rhino. My Hammerhead destroys the third Berzerker-laden transport, the explosion kills three blood-crazed marines.

My Kroot in the far left overlooking the entrenched Marines opens fire, making just two kills. Combined fire from gun drones and Devilfish transports force the same marines to take a Pinning test and Panic test; they fail the latter and flee the table.

Multiple gun drones and Devilfish form a gunline that forced the Chaos Marines (no longer in play) from the area terrain above the central ruins

Leigh’s Obliterators deep-strke onto the table, their mutated flamers cause massive casualties to the central Kroot squad, and they take command of the central ruins.

The Chaos Land Raider swings into action and disgorges the Chaos Sorcerer’s Terminator Squad in the middle of my lines. He casts Lash of Submission on one of my Fire Warrior teams, causing them to wander into the path of the rampaging warriors. Hopelessly out-matched, the Fire Warriors are cut down and begin to flee the table.

Khorne berzerkers, frustrated with the battlesuits’ feint attacks, charge the Kroot in the centre of the board, causing them to flee the table as well. The remaining Rhino transport containing Chaos Chosen disembarks on my right flank, and successfully kills a Tau battlesuit.

The Tau battle line, now completely disrupted by the Terminators are left with no choice but to destroy the Sorcerer and his Terminators in one round of shooting, and without one squad of Fire Warriors with Pulse Rifles, the entire Tau force focused fire to destroy the squad but only kill two Terminators. I tank-shock the squad with one Devilfish to push them away from the rest of my Fire Warriors, and away from assault range.

A Devilfish forces the Terminators away from Tau lines with a Tank Shock.

Without the Sorcerer’s shock troops in assault range of my troops, the Terminators attempt to assault my tank-shocking Devilfish instead – but only manages to score two ‘crew stunned’ results before falling to another round of Tau shooting. The foot-slogging Berzerker squads are similarly cut-down by focused battlesuit fire – Huron Blackheart falls to a plasma rifle round. Leigh retreats his Chaos Chosen in the only remaining Rhino to draw my forces into an attack. While I pursued his forces, Leigh was able to make three Kill Points in one round, but it was not enough to secure victory.

Outcome:

Tau Victory

My Thoughts on the Game:

Leigh’s plan was executed well, but since I had the first turn, the Chaos Rhinos were unable to deploy smoke to defend against my Railguns. It was tempting for me to attempt to destroy the Land Raider, but in the end my investment in destroying Rhinos proved to be a better decision.

Leigh’s entrenched Chaos Marines were well positioned to fire heavy weapons across my battleline, but luckily my Kroot and Gun Drones were able to force them off the board. My lowly Gun Drones were responsible for no less than two Kill Points (Chaos Marines and Obliterators), even though vehicle gun drones offer no Kill Points if they were destroyed – I think this was the only reason they survived as long as they did, and continued harassing the Chaos infantry until the end of the game.

Leigh’s generalship was superb, and he used everything he could to reach my lines, but in the end, some lucky rolls by me, and some unlucky saves made by Leigh resulted in Tau victory but the game was a lot closer than what the Kill Points suggest.

Leigh’s Thoughts on the Game:

I won’t go into detail with the battle report stuff as that was well covered. However, some erratas!

Obliterators started the game on the board, deployed between the Land Raider and the Rhino’s, as I intended to send them up the centre of the board.
The Chosen infiltrated in their Rhino from my left flank, but did nothing the entire game. Probably a bad move by me!!!
I didn’t have unlucky rolling, you outplayed me.

TAU side.
Garry the ‘LAWMAN’ Law played this game to the utmost strength of the Tau. Using the Tau’s range to his advantage, Garry deployed the Firewarriors to the rear of the board, the 30” range of their weapons made to good use. The Devilfish and Hammerheads used to block access to the squishy Firewarrior’s which my assault units would maul. The use of the Tau vehicles up close allowed them to use their shorter ranged weaponry as well.

CSM side.
The Spearhead deployment AND going second really hurt the CSM. Spearhead allowed the Tau to start right back and due to Garry’s fantastic deployment strategy, with the weaker units being far out of reach (even with the use of Lash) of my combat units, it was always going to be tough for the CSM. The CSM were outplayed during the deployment phase of the game.

Final Thoughts
FANTASTIC game, and it was closer than some might suspect with 7KP to the CSM and 9 to the TAU.
Hilarious how the Obliterators couldn’t hit a thing till the end of the game!
The Railguns which should have mutilated my tanks only managed to kill one or two Rhino’s the whole game.
I would happily play Garry again any day for a rematch!

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