Sunday, April 14, 2013

Tau vs. Space Marine BATTLE REPORT

Hammer and Anvil, 3 Objectives more or less evenly distributed, Big Guns Never Tire

Space Marines vs. Tau Empire

So I decided to try my hand at the new Tau.  After making several lists, I decided to go with one that was fairly pedestrian, but that seemed to mesh well with the old style of playing to kind of ease into the new feel of things.  There will be many opportunities to test the waters or more exotic builds.  As you will see below, my opponent had a slight edge, as he had many more scoring units than I, all were tougher and more mobile as a rule.  His list was also very representative of Space marines in general which was nice.

For a blast to the past, to see how a 5th Edition Tau army worked:

Moving on!

My list was as follows:
185pts 10 Kroot Snipers+8 Hounds+3 Krootox
185pts 10 Kroot Snipers+8 Hounds+3 Krootox

90pts   10 Fire Warriors
90pts   10 Fire Warriors

180pts 7 Pathfinders (3 x Rail rifles, Recon, Grav and Pulse Drones)
95pts Devilfish (Disruption Pod)

180pts 7 Pathfinders (3 x Rail rifles, Recon, Grav and Pulse Drones)
95pts   Devilfish (Disruption Pod)

140pts 10 Marker Drones

150pts Commander (Flamer, Vectored Retro Thrusters, Drone Controller, Command and Control Node, Repulsor Impact Field, Neuroweb System Jammer, Puretide Engram NeuroChip, Onager Gauntlet)

235pts Riptide battle suit (Ion Accelerator, 1 Missile Drones, Velocity Tracker, Early Warning Override)

235pts Riptide battle suit (Ion Accelerator, 1 Missile Drones, Velocity Tracker, Early Warning Override)

139pts 3 Crisis Suits (TL Fusion Blaster, Flamer)


My opponent played a Space marine List like this:
Captain in Terminator Armor
5 Tactical Terminators
5 Assault Terminators

Land Raider Crusader
3 x 10 Tactical Marines
Devastators (4 x Plasma Cannons)
Dreadnought (Missile and Lascannon)

He got the Warlord trait to run faster for all units within 12" of his Warlord and I got the trait to impose Night Fighting on Round 1  I went ahead and did that.

I went first and as there were ample buildings in the western deployment zone, I took that.  In the center of the board was a fairly large and a good 10" long LOS blocking wall that obscured North to South view, at the end of which was one objective.  I had one placed on my side around the 18" mark in my zone.  He has one in his, near the NE corner, behind a hill.

I deployed a Scouting Devilfish on both the North and south flank, against the board edge to take advantage of my Recon Drone capability.
I deployed the XV104 suits both north and south of the LOS blocking wall that bisected the length of the board, thinking to use it for cover as much as possible by jumping to the other side after shooting, depending on how he deployed.  I wasn't sure if I'd need it but it seemed a sound strategy. 
The Fire Warriors formed two large circles to the rear, one in a bunch of rocks, the other behind the XV104 Riptide suits.  Both were several inches back from the objective in anticipation of the eventual arrival of trouble and his Vindicator.
The Commander and his Marker Drone Swarm  hovered near the deployment line next to the northernmost Riptide Battle suits, ready to start firing. 

Deep Striking were the Crisis Team while the Kroot were to outflank.  My strategy was to use the Pathfinder Recon Drone to guide my Kroot to whatever side made the most sense for them and to set up side shots where possible with the Rapid Firing Krootox.

My opponent responded, deploying his Land Raider at the very center of his deployment line, the Vindicator and Predator directed abutting it behind, to provide them cover.  On his south flank were a Tactical Squad in some rocks, to take cover and prepare for the approach of the Pathfinder Devilfish along that flank.
Behind the NE hill, he stationed a Tactical unit to provide protection for his objective and on the hill itself stood the Devastator Squad ready to make a mess of my Pathfinders along the Northern flank if they caused him any trouble. 

His third Tactical unit stood beside the Land Raider and prepared to move forward with it.  Given it was Night Fighting rules, the Land Raiders shadow provided considerable cover.  The Dreadnought joined them in that shadow. 

Pathfinders zoomed their Devilfish's forward to be within range.  The one to the North got closer to the Devastator Squad in front of it, while the southern Fish travelled on a straight vector towards the Tactical Marines hiding in the rocks to the south.

Round 1:
The Space Marines failed to steal the initiative, and so the Tau war machine began its march.

The Commander bounced forward and his Drones bathed the Land Raider in undeniable markerlight, the bounced backwards again.  The Pathfinders to the North stayed in their Devilfish as its cannon came to life and buried a Plasma Cannon Devastator.  The Pathfinders to the south got out and into a small ruin, killing three of the Tactical Marines in front of them.
Meanwhile the Fire Warriors began whittling the Tactical Marines near the Land Raider and killed a couple of them with a little luck.

The riptides moved forward and lit into the Land Raider, Nova Reactors overcharging.  Unfortunately, one of the Riptides took two wounds firing it's weapons this way, but the other landed a shot but could not damage the tough vehicles who were so beautifully clustered together.

The northern Riptide jumped to the south side of the wall while the wounded southern one, already there, decided to take cover behind it.

The Space Marines returned fire.  Devastators lit into the Riptides, causing a wound, while Marines tromped forward alongside the Land Raider which moved full tilt forward and unloaded its payload on the Riptide.  The Shielded Missile Drone held up against the fusillade as it was closer. 

The dreadnought caused two Hull points of damage to the northerly Pathfinder Devilfish on its own but didn't finish it.  The accompanying Sp[ace Marines shot and killed 3 marker drones but the Tau Commander was able to override their self preservation Protocols for the time being.

The Predator also tried to kill a Devilfish to the south but could not, as the predator veered from behind the Land Raider to set its own course.

No units to report as combat ineffective yet.

SCORE:  SM:3   Tau:  0

The Tau Crisis Team was guided perfectly within 9 inches north of the Land Raider thanks to the Pathfinder Devilfish.  The Crisis Team took aim and blew the Land Raider to kingdom come.  Out spilled the Captain and his retinue of Terminators.
The Pathfinder Devilfish emptied itself out into a ruined temple structure and fired at the Tactical Squad, as did both the Riptides with the help of the Commanders remaining drones.  Jointly this resulted in the complete annihilation of the Tactical squad and FIRST BLOOD was achieved.

The Pathfinders in the southern ruin got unexpected help as the kroot outflanked right in front of the southerly Tactical Marine squad amongst the rocks and managed to kill three more of them; and with Pathfinder help, only 4 marines remained.  Sadly, one of them had a flamer.

The Nova Reactor on the unwounded Riptide caught fire and scorched it for a moment, causing some damage.

Now it was the Space Marines turn to respond.  The Captain and his men swarmed and killed the Crisis Team in retribution for their loss the n consolidated towards the church the northerly Pathfinders were hiding in.  The Dreadnought, Predator and Vindicator all combined fire to destroy the Commander and all but three of his insolent Drones and a fire Warrior perished in the conflagration.  Plasma Cannons and the Space marine with the Flamer combined to Kentucky Fry the Kroot and destroy them utterly.  A sharp turn of events to be sure!  the objective near the central wall had been the Kroots responsibility to get to and now they were all quite dead and unable to carry out that assignment, nor protect the southerly Pathfinders.

SCORE:  SM:4   Tau:  1

Round 3:
Despite their losses, the Tau moved on.  another kroot unit appeared to replace the one that had just been sent packing.  The Devilfish for the Pathfinders to the south Tank Shocked the four remaining Space Marines to the south into running away (though immobilizing itself in the rock formation they had been in!) and the Kroot fired into them killing all but...of course...  the Flamer.  The Pathfinders contributed to the effort but to no avail.  Couldn't kill that last one.
The Riptides advanced on the enemy, one firing at and killing the Vindicator, while the other attacked the Predator, taking a hull point off it but failing the charge against it.  Luckily, the Nova Reactor was overcharged to give the behemoth a 3+ invul save for the next round.  It was time to start pushing towards the enemy Capital.

The Pathfinders to the north and the Marker Drones as well as their Devilfish wounded the Captain once and killed two of his Terminators.  Their advance seemed inevitable however.

The enemy responded, with the lone Marine to the south rallying and then barbecuing the Kroot, but the plasma Cannons were aimed at the Riptides this time and the Shielded missile Drone and the toughness of the Suits combined to confound them.  This saved the Kroot from annihilation and they made their morale check to stay the course.

Meanwhile the Captain and his Terminators slew the Pathfinders in the church without mercy or consideration for their holy surroundings.  the bloodbath was utter and complete.  no morale check could be made because there were no Tau to make it.  they consolidated forward.  the Dreadnought finished their Devilfish for good measure.

5 Tactical Terminators landed right in front of the Green Squad Fire Warriors.  They were not apparently aware of the Early Warning Override on the riptide Battle suits who proceeded to knock out three of the 5 Terminators.  A rather jarring landing for the Terminators.

The SM troops on the rear objective were to far to contribute much but the cheeky heavy bolter did fire on the Riptides and wounded the less tattered of the two.

The Predator moved back a bit from the Riptide that tried to charge it and positioned itself so that it could try to take the central objective later.

SCORE:  SM:5   Tau:  3

Round 4
The Green Tau Fire Warrior squad,  with the help of the three remaining Marker drones, burned the Tactical Terminators to the ground.  The other (Desert) Fire Warrior Squad poured it into the Captains unit in the church.
One Riptide overcharged itself to jump to the enemy deployment zone (since it couldn't fire anyways) instead of continuing its attack on the predator.  The second Riptide tried and failed to do the same and took cover behind the wall for the round,  With a tiny bit of help from a snap shot from the southern Pathfinders that was in range by maybe an inch, the last of the Captains retinue was killed.  Now it was just him.

The immobilized Devilfish to the south fired its burst cannons into the side of the Predator and took a hull point.  One to go.

The Kroot finished the last Marine to the south with extreme prejudice while moving north towards the central objective. 

The Space marine Dread and Predator concentrated firepower on the Riptides.  The one in the enemy deployment Zone was down to a single wound whereas the other had two left.  Both Missile Drones were dead.  they were now quite vulnerable.

The Plasma Cannon unit tried to kill the kroot, and the Kroot went to ground, surviving the 14 wounds dealt to them! 

SCORE:  SM:4   Tau:  3

Round 5

The Riptides understood their peril but could ill afford to be anything but aggressive.  The one already in the enemy deployment zone dared not overcharge this round and fired his gun into the Predator as he walked and then jumped normally towards the enemy objective, but the Predator took it and the Riptide was still short of the mark.  The second one fired his into the Predator to equally disappointing effect!

The Pathfinders to the south moved again to try and get into position if there was another round to contest the central objective, not trusting the Kroot not to run.

The Green and Desert Fire Warrior squads, plus 3 Marker Drones tried to kill the oncoming Captain but could not, after moving both forward to get close to the objective and take hold of it (recall that they had been holding back from it to this point).  His charge seemed quite unavoidable but they had no choice but to try and hold it.  One of the squads was also stretching closer in case they needed to go after the central one in future turns, should things go well with the Captain (unlikely but hey...).

The Kroot milled about, pinned as they were.

It was the enemy's turn and as predicted, the Predator moved to take the objective the Kroot could not.  the Dreadnought tried to kill the Riptide but could not.

The Captain charged the squad, but supporting fire allowed a Marker light to hit and then one of the squads on BS2 Overwatch managed to kill the Captain and end the threat to the objective, despite his beefy Terminator armor and still having two wounds left.  An unexpected but welcome affirmation of the Greater Good.

SCORE:  SM:7   Tau:  7

Round 6
Well it doesn't get much closer.

With the Captain gone, one Fire Warrior Squad moved and ran towards the central objective, not quite reaching it while the other solidifed its hold on the one in the Tau deployment zone.  That meant it was up to the Kroot, facing the prospect of all those Plasma Cannons...

The Riptide moved, ran and jumped onto the enemy objective to contest.  The second one fired its thrusters into the enemy deployment at maximum speed to back up the first Riptide.

The Pathfinders to the south tore the Predator apart with their Rail Rifle, sending a LOT of shrapnel into the kroot, which made matters a bit worse.  Would they hold?

The Kroot moved and ran towards the objective, making their morale check afterwards thankfully.

The remaining Plasma Cannons tried to blast the Kroot from existence but couldn't hit enough times to kill them all.  They did take out almost all of the remainder though.  The Space marines behind the NE hill unloaded on the Riptide but their bolters and Heavy Bolter just weren't up to the task of taking out the Irridium plating.  That forced the Dreadnought to try and kill the Riptide but the riptides invul save held on the one wound it got.

The final score:

SCORE:  SM:1   Tau:  11

I hope you enjoyed the report.


  1. VIDEO!! no way Im gonna read through all of this!

  2. Reading IS indeed a lost art. But there is no video sadly. I rarely do video reports to be honest.

    As for the list... It is 14W-2L-1T now. I have altered it slightly but it is in essence this version. I can post the newer SLIGHTLY revised version if you're interested.


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