Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tau Empire vs. Space Wolves Battle Report (Brief)

Quarters Deployment, Annihilation.
Space Wolves deployed in the Northeast corner, Tau to the Southwest. Mostly forested terrain, with three piles of huge shipping containers forming the blocking terrain. One of the Containers set near the southern edge of the Tau deployment zone to hide behind, One central and another Northwest of it formed a wide "canal" of large containers midboard big enough for two rhinos to pass through that would prove pivotal. Space Wolves chose to go first.

Space Wolf Rhinos up front and center with Njal in one of them. Wolves north of them with the commander and another Thunderwolf unit along the lower border of the deployment. All three Long Fangs in the rear corner, ready to fire.

Tau deploy three broadsides with drones. Two were in the center along the southern board edge, behind crates. The third is deployed in the far SW corner along with the Shas’El to lead them.  Pathfinders stretched themselves out on the southern border in a stand of trees, ready to help.  All else in reserve of one form or another.

The game was ready to begin.

SW: 2 Rhinos moved up near the "canal", popped smoke as they approached the huge shipping containers midboard. Njal made the terrain difficult. Two more Rhinos still in reserve. The Longfangs moved forward through their huge forest cover in the Northeast to get closer. ThunderCavalry ran forward, one unit behind the Rhinos, the other north of the canal, to work its way between forested stands, eventually towards the SW corner.
Tau: Two Broadsides fired at the Rhino Njal was in Stunning it. The third broadside broke the track off the other Rhino. All other Troops in reserve.

SW: ThunderCavalry continue their inexorable march forward. The farthest northern unit ran some more cresting around the canal and the second unit behind the Rhinos slunk around the stilled vehicles. The Long Fangs continued to move out of their cover and towards the enemy to set up firing positions. Njal kept the storms coming and got out so he could use his lightning strikes on my Pathfinders, but they were safe.
Tau: Stingwings deep struck in and wiped out a longfang squad, completely. The three Broadsides fired on the wolves to the north, killing one. Two Devilfishes and three units of Fire Warriors came on the Southeastern board edge and fired all they could, killing another Thunderwolf and wounding one. A unit of Kroot lost their way and ended up on the far western edge of the board, unable to do much but move and run into the big forest there. The Command suit also fired but did nothing. The Pathfinder Devilfish glided alongside the Pathfinders in the southern forest in case they should need a bastion against the coming Wolf strikes. 4 Piranhas swept onto the board, unloaded their drones and then both unloaded on a Longfang squad that were barely in range and had been trying to get better line of sight and distance on my broadsides, killing 3 of the 6, but they held firm.

SW: Njal’s storm started lashing out, killing things in ernest. He got back in the Rhino now that it could move, moved back to get lines of sight on all the new targets and made more room for the wolves. The nearest Longfangs stood their ground and fired their missiles into the dread StingWings, killing 3. The other longfangs splitfire on the two new Devilfishes to the East. The northern wolves got to within striking distance of the broadsides snarling in anticipation, so they released the other Wolf unit to jump the Tau to the east and they did so, rending Yellow Squad to shreds in their teeth, annihilating them seconds after arriving! The broadside that was about to be eaten couldn’t believe his good fortune but the prospect of the Space Wolf leader on Thunderback with two escorts was no more enticing, and they were coming. Two Rhinos trundled onto the board to the south along the eastern side of the board to try and contribute next round and wanting no part of the mass of 17 Kroot on the western edge. They were content to let those Kroot rot there..
Tau: the second unit of Kroot came on, right next to the first. Ugh. The Broadsides, pathfinders, Pathfinder Devilfish and Kroot fired into the Wolf Commander and his retinue of wolves, killing them all. Disaster averted. The Fire Warriors to the east, seeing the fate of Yellow Squad, and looking into angry wolf eyes decided to jump in their Devilfishes again and hightail it towards the Longfangs. The Drone unit cordoned off the Thunderwolf Cavalry from charging anything more important, the Stingwings came over to help and together, the two devilfish’s, Drones, StingWings and Piranha’s managed to collectively kill the remaining the offending unit.

Round 4 (Tau are now up 4-1):
SW:  A Longfang squad knocked out two of the four Piranhas and blew the weapon off a third in one hail of missile fire. Ouch. The second Long Fang unit tried to down the Devilfish’s but could not.
The two newly arrived Rhinos moved up behind their cohorts in the midboard to protect Njal but Njal needed no protecting. Njal unleashed his lightning storm into the Piranhas killing the one without a gun and killing one of the Broadside units entirely plus with his powers was able to attack the StingWings also (but he rolled low on his number of shots)! The resulting explosion killed some drones. Flamers fired from the immobilized Rhino and killed more Drones and Stingwings that had massed there to end the Wolf threat the round before, but both held their ground.
Tau: The last Devilfish came on the board, up the middle now that there were no Wolves. The remaining two Broadsides and the Shas’El tried to kill the lead Rhinos but failed utterly even with Pathfinder help (which had rolled pretty poorly all game to begin with). In fact the entire army pretty much fired at the rhinos, except for the two easterly Devilfish’s, who shot and killed the remainder of a LongFang Squad. The last Piranha rushed over to try and trap-kill anyone who were forced out of the Rhino, but it mattered not because an entire Tau army could not kill a single Rhino. We stunned it and took its Storm Bolter off. Very disappointing. The StingWings and Drones assaulted it for free movement to get away from his other units and their subsequent shooting. A big pile of Shipping containers made them all but invisible to most of the enemy shooting.

Round 5 (Tau are up 5-2)

SW: Njals storm now guaranteed lightning nonstop, and it crashed down upon the enemy, but to little effect this time, wounding but not killing Braodside drones and others. We were lucky. With his lead Rhino trapped and Njals unit not too excited about getting out, the Rhinos that could tried to position for Storm Bolter and bolter fire into the Broadside they could see through all the cover and vehicles in the way, but it did nothing. The LongFangs once again fired on the pair of Easterly Devilfish’s that were slowly coming to their position, Fire Warriors inside. Again, no Disruption Pods saved them.
Tau: Kroot moved and ran, with no targets within range. The Broadside +Shas’El moved towards the enemy from the West and again tried to kill the Rhinos and failed utterly even with pathfinder help (again). However this time the central Broadside did not miss and exploded it. The Devilfish’s to the East fired and essentially killed one Longfang (5 to go!). The Central Devilfish that came on last turn dumped its Fire Warriors but they could kill none of the disembarked Grey Hunters. The last Piranha settled in front of the second lead Rhino that Njal was in but could not scratch it. The Stingwings were behind the crates and could not contribute.

Round 6 (Tau up 6-2)
SW: the two trailing Rhinos swung to the side to get pot shots in and the unit inside the blown Rhino advanced on the central Broadside. Not close enough to charge but close enough to fire, to no effect (yay 2+ armor). The Long Fangs fired again on the Devilfish’s but could not kill them. Njals storm was brutal however. Lightning crackled everywhere and he killed 4 of the 6 Fire Warriors that had gotten out (but they held) and blew the last Piranha to kingdom come. He also killed a Stingwing (also held) and immobilized the Central Devilfish.
Tau: Again, failure. The broadsides moved and fired but again could do nothing to the Rhinos. The Easterly Devilfishs blasted away and killed just one Longfang and the remaining single Drone did zilch of course. The StingWings hid, trying to keep safe in case there was another round. The Squad that was lightning blasted in the last turn mounted up again in their immobilized ‘Fish for protection from Zeus.

Round 7 (Tau up 6-3)
SW: Zeus is an unforgiving Gawd. Njal, his representative, used thunder and lightning to annihilate the Devilfish, his Grey Hunters shot and killed the Fire Warriors inside, and the lone Drone from the Piranhas was slain in a flash of brilliance. His men came around the right side and got out to try and shoot the Broadside but it was out of range.
Tau: The game tied, we had to do something. The Broadside stepped up and fired plasma and the Railgun, but they went to ground, so I only killed 2. the StingWings wounded all three times yet only killed two because he went to ground as well, leaving 1 Grey Hunter left.
Meanwhile the two Easterly Devilfishs settled to the ground, unloaded their fire Warriors and all of it tried to kill the last two Longfangs with 32 STR 5 shots. They didn’t kill a single one…
I could have left it as a tie, but I didn’t come their for a tie and neither did he! So in the spirit of sporting chances, the Stingwings charged the lone Marine to go for the win. The Broadside was too far away to make the charge. Unfortunately the StingWings caused one wound, but he saved. He killed a Stingwing (didn't save), but the StingWing held their ground valiantly.

Come from behind Tie for the Space Wolves!  Saved by the lack of a bell

After seven rounds we both deserved a shot at it but fate said we must “play it again, Sam”..
It looked real grim for him for most of the game. Njal simply was an incredible MVP for him and in longer games that becomes more and more true. My inability to kill Rhino’s was comical, the Longfangs surviving that hail of Pulse weaponry was crazy and the moral of the story I guess is to “KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN BOYZ” when the chips are all in. It came down to a StingWing charge for the deciding moment which was fun to see.  Tau can hang with Space Wolves even now!  Have faith in our Destiny.

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