Thursday, February 7, 2013
Old School Tau Battle Report
This Battle Report was done in 2005, and was a fun blast from the past. I had been playing for about a year by this time and this is an example of how I saw the game when I was so new. Fun to look back at how cinematic the game seemed to me in my minds eye. I hope you enjoy this. =)
Shas’Vre Unated tapped an armored hoof idly from within the hidden confines of the radar-proof foxhole. The unholy Thousand Sons expeditionary force, fresh from The Eye of Terror, had landed quite some time ago, and was taking quite an interest in the place.
The Aun having expertly laid a series of fighting retreats to lure them deeper into Tau controlled territory, they were now close enough for the Tau XV-8 Stealth Suit battalions behind Unated’s force to crush the Thousand Sons army. The mission now was to keep the enemy in the No Mans Land just long enough for the battalions to move up using their stealth technology. The gamble was great. So close to the main bases of the Tau, these Chaos Warriors would take a monstrous toll on the residents if Unated’s line did not hold. The line was essentially all that stood before the forces of Chaos and a glorious slaughter of innocents, and from what little Unated had heard of this new menace, they were possessed of none of the honor of the Emperors Space Marines.
Unated wouldn’t let that happen. The forces of Chaos had detected the Tau and knew they were around somewhere. The foxhole holo-fields hid their dispositions from view however. Unated couldn’t help but marvel at the works of the Air caste and their inventions.
The trap was set. All across the field were strewn Tank Traps to stop the Mutated Predator Tank that the Thousand Sons had with them and hopefully it would slow down the horrid Dreadnaught that was reportedly with them. Both were decked out in LasCannons, which had prompted Shas’Vre Unated to keep the Hammerhead Gunships and the Devilfish mounted Fire Warrior units in reserve. No sense exposing them until the enemy drew a little closer.
Behind the tank traps were staggered razor wire. All was in preparation. Altogether, three full Bonded Fire Warrior units, their Shas’ui’s and their Gun Drones took up the left and center-left flank, with clear firing lanes downrange.
Devilfish-One moved smoothly into place on the right flank, disgorging the eight Path Finders and their Drones. They took careful aim with their Assault Pulse Carbines and Heavy Rail Rifles, all sporting Marker Lights. Blue laser beams streaked forward eagerly looking for a target they could“paint” for the rest of the Tau forces. Tau Marker Light technology was justly feared, for on board Devilfish-One were four deadly Smart Missiles which could be fired by the Pathfinders, with devastating accuracy using the painted targets. Many Tau called the missiles “marine killers”, because they would punch through even Power Armor with the greatest of ease. The REAL use for the Path Finders however had yet to reveal itself…
With just those four units, they awaited the arrival of the enemy. The wait wasn’t long.
Their appearance was preceded by a bombardment! Bombs began dropping from the sky and at least two foxholes got blasted, their Fire Warrior inhabitants blown apart. One of the Tank Traps got hit as well, creating a breach. Luckily, it was not a breach in a critical location along the battlefront, but it would bear watching. That enemy Dreadnaught might find the spot quite tempting.
When the smoke cleared and the filtration units in Unated’s Tau helm began to work their magic, the force they were here to fight became visible.
As expected, there were two Chaos Space marine units strung wide in the middle. Two more took up opposing flank positions for a total of four corrupt units of the hideous monsters. A Dreadnaught joined the Chaos to the Tau left, and the Mutated Predator Tank joined the flankers to the Tau right.
Something was missing; some force element from the reports wasn’t there….
Shas’Vre Unated brought up the OHD in his helm and read the report with quick eyes and gasped. Terminator Sorcerers! Apparently a group of nine had been reported with this force, but was nowhere to be seen. Unated’s eyes narrowed, but there was no time to think about it. It was time to pop the hatches on the environmentally sealed Fox holes and send these abominations back to Hell where they belonged.
POP! Went the latch and out surged the Fire Warriors, catching the evil things by surprise. The Tau had set them up midfield to give them a chance to hold the enemy in no mans land if they got too close and to be able to bring their firepower to bear quicker, hoping to pin the enemy down. Reports warned that these creatures knew not what fear was, but Shas’Vre had yet to meet anything that didn’t care for its own life, and had discarded the thought as so much hyperbole.
Devilfish-One moved forward to fire on the right flanking enemy unit and the Path Finders took aim and shot Blue light at their enemy. The Chaos Warriors smirked as the harmless blue lights danced along their armor, but the smile quickly fled as a hatch opened up on Devilfish-One and out launched two very purposeful missiles, obliterating two Chaos Marines. Its own Gun Drones and Burst Cannons went to work as well. The three Rail Rifles in the Path Finder unit carved up another of the beastly Chaos Space Marines. Unated began to hear the chatter, and became somewhat disconcerted to learn that the things seemed to shrug off all but the most grievous wounds the burst Cannons could give. They literally were taking twice the damage any normal Space Marine should handle even after the armor was punched!
Hearing this, Unated began to rethink his position on bringing in the Hammerheads and Devilfish’s. He’d have to think about that one.
The three Fire Warrior Units laced into the oncoming Chaos force, but inflicted little damage, as the ranges were still a little too far.
The purposeful Chaos Warriors moved forward, and their Predator belched laser death towards Devilfish-One, rocking it in place, as did the Dreadnaught. Despite moving, the Chaos Warriors fired their Bolters at maximum range as if the recoil simply didn’t stop them! Shas’Vre Unated didn’t like that at all. He had anticipated being able to take no fire immediately, but apparently these things were possessed of something…different….focused… On his amplifier he could hear them crying out to something called Tzeentch. Probably one of their unholy Aun, or so the good Shas’Vre assumed. The curtain of fire from them didn’t have a lot of effect against the tough Tau armor thankfully as a couple of Drones went the way of the Dino-Gnarlac’s of old.
Unated was in a quandary. The volume of fire would be too great not to counter it with the Hammerhead Gunships and the other Devilfish’s, all carrying the missiles which seemed to be far more effective than normal weapons in wounding them. He had to call them in or these things weren’t going to stay in No Mans Land for long…and that would be a bad thing. The Aun’s plan was quite specific on that point…
Shas’Vre Unated firmed up his decision. “Send in the Stealth party, forward Left. Path Finders, paint those crazy things and let the stealth do the rest. Command; send in the Hammerheads and two of the Devilfish. I suspect we have company coming. My guess is they are positioning those Terminators right over our heads. We’ll need the back up”.
All units hear the call and the Hammerheads rushed to the rear of the lines, gliding smoothly forward. Their gleaming White exteriors shimmered with the powerful shadow-fields. Variants of the stealth suits themselves, it made even the massive Hammerhead harder to see from a distance, forcing the enemy to get closer in order to kill it…which usually meant the Hammerhead was pounding you long before you pounded it! The Hammerheads moved along the right flank
Devilfish-Two and Devilfish-Three moved up behind the Pathfinders to the right as well, floating above each other in a symphony of gravitic piloting. Their missile racks opened up in preparation and their Burst Cannons began to spin.
One of the two Stealth units responded, melding from the shadows where they hid almost right in front of the Predator tank and the right side unit that watched its flank, the one the Tau had already hit. Shas'Vre Unated was somewhat deflated by the complete lack of response to their sudden appearance. It was as if the Chaos Warriors were not phased in the least by the sudden appearance of the Burst Cannon wielding Stealth Suits. To their crazed minds, the Shas’Vre imagined that his Stealth unit was seen as just mere objects to be slaughtered as they moved to their objective. The humanity of the Space Marines was I no way reflected in the hate forged eye slits of the Thousand Sons armor. It was good that these things should perish.
The Hammerheads immediately proceeded to belch death into the right hand unit from their marine killing Ion Cannons. Pathfinder lights painted the evil things and BOOM went the Burst Cannons of the Devilfish-One, as well as the six Stealth suits whose computerized targeting systems were able to utilize the painted markings just like the Devilfish, slamming shell after shell into the things with pinpoint accuracy. Despite the onslaught of firepower and even a pair of missiles from another Devilfish, the enemy unit still had men left! The Shas’Vre could scarce believe his orbs.
Devilfish-Two and Three spat out their payloads of Fire Warriors behind some cover, just in case the Chaos forces snuck those Terminators in behind enemy lines. It was a tactic the Shas’Vre has seen many times from Space marine forces. Assuming these…things…were as intelligent and cunning as they, then it would create a five unit killing field in the rear. Nothing could be allowed to escape past them. Once past, no forces remained at the base, so intent were they on pulling the drawstrings of the net around these things. The gamble was so large… but it was for the Greater Good and that comforted the Shas’Vre very much.
The three Fire Warrior units already deployed now much closer thanks to the advance of the enemy, laid into the advancing unit to the middle. Like the ones on the right, they took the beating amazingly well, even though many powerful Tau rifles minced their armor. Between Power armor and their own toughness, these things did not die easy.
The roaring began even as the Hammerheads and other units were taking their toll… looking up, the Shas’Vre saw what he had feared. Landing almost directly in the middle of the Tau forces, a group of Terminators Jump Packed in from seemingly nowhere! The hail of shells and strange psychic powers was terrible to behold as gouts of weird energy streaked from their misshapen heads and cracked claws to rake at the Tau. Every Tau it touched died, and no armor in the universe could stop it. Horrified, Shas’Vre Unated watched as they mercilessly pounded one of his units, killing two thirds of them! Worse, the Stealth Warriors he had summoned to the front were blasted and assaulted into nothingness by the savage monsters. The Path Finders who were supporting them gasped as the last two Stealth Warriors bravely fought a losing battle and had their extremities pulled from them in a completely unnecessary and macabre way. Some of the Chaos Warriors even took the time to replace their helmets with the Tau helmets, with the skulls still in them, the brains removed quickly with cracked yellow claws.
Meanwhile the crazy march of the things continued, bringing the rest of the Chaos forces nearly to the Tank traps...and that’s where Demons seemed to form from a staff carried by the farthest left Chaos unit. Manta ray looking things that emitted screeches so vile that no chalk board in the galaxy could compete formed and sprang forward, right into a mine field which exploded taking two of them with it, but it was clear they weren’t going anywhere, even after that. They were so fast that they would be on the Tau in short order if something weren’t done. With the Terminators sitting on the doorstep, it suddenly looked very bad…
The Predator stormed forward towards the one gap in the tank trap front. The Dreadnaught did likewise, and they managed to smash the front armor of a Hammerhead and one of the Devilfish, sending them both reeling for a moment and ripping the Burst cannon clean off of Devilfish-one. Luckily, the second hammerhead’s Stealth field protected against the ill advised blind shot aimed at it! Nonetheless, it would take a little time for those crews to get at it again, leaving only one Hammerhead active for the moment.
Unfortunately this also distracted the other two Devilfish pilots who stopped in place to look around and take their bearings. The Shas’Vre fumed at the lack of focus. Didn’t they know what could happen to a stationary Devilfish? If there weren’t nine very large twisted Terminators in front of him he would have taken the time to berate them but he couldn’t waste the attention right now.
“Send in the last Fire Warriors… Looks like we are going to have to lay down a major fusillade if we want to keep all our toes and hooves for another day” commanded Shas’Vre Unated. Dutifully, from their stealth field foxholes, the last unit of Fire Warriors came forward. The last unit of stealth Warriors did likewise.
Every single fire Warrior unit that could took aim and fired on the Terminators! All of the Devilfish’s released their drones to let them join the party as did the Hammerheads (though the Hammerhead itself that could still shoot had other targets to kill).
Together, for the Greater good, the forward fire Warriors turned their backs on the Manta-Demons and joined in as the area where the Terminators were became one hugs killing field of rapid fire weaponry. The stealth Warriors added their own Burst Cannons to the mix. Three of the Terminators died. The Shas’Vre had to blink to make sure he saw it right. With almost every gun in his force trained on them, they had lost barely a third of their company. He shook his head in disbelief and imagined the horror of those Psychic powers being unleashed again…It was almost too much to think about. Tau were going to die, and all the while, these things were taking the Tau’s attention away from those demons and those advancing troops with their dangerous Dreadnaught and tank…
Seeing the majority of the force going at it and with no line of sight, the Path Finders painted the tank and sent missile after missile at the Predator tank, but causing no damage! Apparently the mutated hull had grown quite strong and was not giving an inch, although the missiles took their toll on the hull, softening it up to perhaps try again… it would probably have been easier to kill the Dreadnaught, but the range was iffy and they took their chances with the tank to no avail.
The Hammerhead that could still shoot landed some hammering blows on the advancing troops, but not enough to concern them and the Devilfish pilots, still distracted by the hits to the other Gunship, foolishly stood still.
The Terminator counterattack was nasty. The things nearly decimated a unit of the best Tau on the field all by itself in record time, the psychic machinations ignoring all resistance in its seeming hunger for pain. Untouched Tau dropped where they stood. The Terminators didn’t stop, storming the unit and massacring nearly all of them. Even despite the beating, the brave Tau held.
Bolter fire reached the Tau as well, as the advancing forces were quite close now. The Shas’Vre smiled however; as he saw that the Chaos Warriors were almost wrapped in the blanket that would doom them. Just a little more time…
The Manta-Demons crashed into the forward Tau units backs like cowards, ripping and tearing at armor plating and killing their stoic Drones almost before the Tau knew what hit them. Photon grenades went flying, slowing the things only slightly, but it helped. The Tau counterattack was fierce however, and the creature’s careless method of attack opened them up more than might otherwise have been the case. The Fire Warriors held the line and the lot of them collapsed into one big melee.
Blat Blat Blat went the twin linked LasCannons on the Dreadnaught and Predator Tank, killing Path Finders and kicking Devilfish-One in the nose again.
Shas’Vre Unated smiled as he saw the armor hold and he could see that his Fire Warriors success was giving the enemy pause. The death of such mighty terminators and the furious counterattacks by the smallish Tau had finally registered in their hate filled minds enough to begin thoughts of potential defeat. The Shas’Vre imagined that they must by now have detected the massive energy fluctuations nearby and would no doubt be questioning what they were. The Shas’Vre knew what they were: a massive Stealth regiment, the largest of any the Tau could field, all converging quietly. The plan was working but time was running out…
The Shas’Vre decided to take a chance. Though there were few of the Terminators left, they seemed like the lynchpin to this assault. He gazed for just a moment at the Demons attacking his Tau, agonizing over whether he should send a unit to help, but he knew that he’d need all the firepower he could muster to crack these Psychic Terminators. The path Finders were hurt. One Hammerhead was missing its gun and that was valuable machinery. Finally coming to a decision, he issued his orders. “Path Finders kill that Predator. Devilfish-One, swing behind it and see if you can take it out. Stealth team Beta, move forward and blast those Terminators. All Fire Warrior units, fire on the terminators. Hammerhead-Two, kill that advancing line. Devilfish-Two and three, you had better move or I am going to seriously lose my temper. Break these Terminators and we break the back of this offensive. For the Greater Good, My Bonding Brothers!”
A great cheer went up as the orders relayed to the high tech miniaturized mass transceivers in the Tau helms. Dying Tau closed their eyes in gratitude for the reminder that no sacrifice, no matter how small, was ever forgotten or given for no reason. The Tau Destiny was bigger than any of them and they could rest knowing their part was played.
Such sentimentality was lost on the inhuman suits of Armored Terminator doom however. They ambled towards the Stealth Suits, but never got there.
Hell was unleashed. Every unit of Fire Warriors, all four and one half that could fire, did by closing in on all sides. The Tau targeting computers were so good that even in such a massive crossfire, friendly casualties would be nearly non existent. The Drones from the various devilfish and hammerhead Gunships also converged, buzzing in to add their help. Terminators dropped until there were just two left. Dazed and confused by the slow creeping thought of failure, they ran. They ran not from the Tau. For the Tau struck no fear at all in the hearts of such mighty armored creatures. No. They ran from their own Chaos Gods, confident in the fact that their failure would net them a fate far worse than death itself. They ran from their own troops in the vain hope they might somehow escape the standing order of all Chaos: the weak must die so that the strong may destroy and ruin.
The demons attacking the Tau were overmatched, unable to crack the armor and the Tau struck back ferociously. The Demons were sent back to the Warp where they belonged.
The Path Finders, despite their numbers having beet whittled, and a near certain charge from the Chaos Warriors that were closing in, they bravely stood their ground and painted the Mutated Predator Tank. An immediate barrage followed, this time cutting the Predators cannon from its body, leaving only its sponsons. This was the last straw. Before the Stealth field warriors could even arrive, the Chaos Warriors knew their back had been ruptured and their failure ensured. All that was left to them was to escape to throw themselves on the mercy of their masters, an empty hope but hope nonetheless.
The Shas’Vre seeing no advantage to stopping them from their retreat ordered his troops to send harrying fire after them but not to pursue. It was over and there were wounded who would need immediate attention, Drone parts to salvage and a base to re-deploy.
“Now, let’s see what we can’t do about sending their Starship into the ocean. Command, this is Shas’Vre Unated. We are victorious. As soon as the Cruisers crest the horizon, engage and annihilate those Chaos monsters above us. For the Greater Good, allow one to escape. The Chaos forces must be convinced to Believe in Our Destiny. We’ll need a survivor to carry the news.”