Saturday, 15 February 2014

The Emperor's will be done


Hi all, got a bat rep for today, following my 2000 point game against the Tau yesterday. And boy what a doozy of a game it was too, really enjoyable and played against a top bloke, with neither side giving any quarter.

I used my basic list with 1500 points added in specific to my opponent, so brought:
Captain and command squad on bikes
Librarian with 9 sternguard in drop pod
Two full bike units, one with as many meltas as will fit.
Five man tactical squad with plasma gun
Storm talon
Lascannon centurion devastators with missile launchers and omniscope
Whirlwind
Stalker

My opponent brought a battle suit commander and ethereal, crisis team, three fire warrior units, two pathfinder units, one kroot unit, riptide, hammerhead, broadsides and sniper drones.

We rolled up the emperors will for mission type, with vanguard deployment, and I won the roll off to go first.

Deployment.
I won the roll off and deployed first, putting my Captain, Command Squad and Heavy Bolter bike squad on the right, the Multi Melta bike squad in the centre with the Centurions behind, and the Whirlwind and Tactical Squad behind the building containing my objective.

My opponent kept his Kroot, one pathfinder squad and the crisis team in reserve, along with his riptide (This was significant, the centurions clearly spooked him into keeping it back). The ethereal, sniper drone team and broadsides deployed on the skyshield landing pad to make use of its 4+ save, with the three fire warrior units and hammerhead deployed around it. The pathfinder unit deployed on the roof of a dilapidated bastion.

Turn 1.
My opponent failed to steal the initiative, and night fighting failed to kick in.

The Sternguard and Librarian dropped in by the skyshield, the broadsides killing one sternguard. My bikes all headed forwards, the Heavy Bolter team taking a circuitous route behind the command squad to keep out of the early exchanges. The whirlwind opened up first, landing its S4 ignores cover blast right on top of the pathfinders, wiping them out and getting me first blood. The command squad and those of the Heavy Bolter bike squad that were in range opened fire on the nearest fire warrior squad, killing four. The Librarian, Sternguard, Centurions and Multi Melta bike squad opened fire on the ethereal's unit, killing 8 sniper drones and a marksman, leaving just 2 marksmen, 1 drone and the ethereal.

In the Tau turn, the ethereal joined the broadside squad, the hammerhead destroyed the stalker, and everything else shot at the librarian's squad. Three fire warrior squads, the marksmen and the broadsides managed to cause a single wound on the librarian, and killed 7 sternguard.

Turn 2
The Storm Talon failed to arrive sadly, and the multi melta attack bike failed to hit the hammerhead, with the two meltaguns out of range. The Command Squad and Heavy Bolter bike squad moved up and turbo boosted, while the centurions opened fire on the broadsides. Once again they proved their worth, the only thing saving the broadsides being the single drone that had moved up in the Tau phase, leaving one broadside and the ethereal intact on the landing pad. The librarian killed 3 fire warriors with his flame breath power, then died to overwatch fire when attempting a charge.

In the Tau turn, the crisis suits, pathfinders, and kroot all arrived, the crisis suits just narrowly avoiding scattering off the table edge, whilst the pathfinders and kroot both arrived on my left flank, far from my objective thankfully. The Ethereal joined a fire warrior squad, who ascended the landing pad. The crisis suits opened fire on the centurions, killing 2, whilst volleys of fire from the broadside and kroot killed two bikes from the melta squad. The last fire warrior squad killed 2 of the command squad, who fled back towards my table edge and the crisis suit team.

Turn 3
The Storm Talon arrived this turn. The Heavy Bolter bike squad wiped out the remains of the third Fire Warrior squad whilst the command squad headed straight for the crisis team (and Commander). The melta bike squad fired on the Kroot, killing 6 and charging them in the following assault phase, doing enough damage to send them running. The tactical squad took aim at the crisis suits and despite losing their plasma gunner to an overheating weapon, caused three wounds. The command squad attempted a charge into the crisis team and commander, though overwatch fire killed the apothecary, causing the charge to fail.

In response, the pathfinders hit the storm talon with three markerlights, despite needing 6's to hit, though the resulting shots from the hammerhead were shaken off as it jinked away. The tactical squad came under fire from the broadsides and fire warriors, passing 9 saves. The riptide also arrived, killing three bikes.

Turn 4
The Storm Talon exited the table as it was only firing snap shots due to its jinking the previous turn. I finally remembered to fire the deathwind launcher from the drop pod (that'll teach me for forgetting to bring the model with me!) and killed a single fire warrior from the second squad. The melta bikes took aim at the second pathfinder squad, wiping them out while the whirlwind launched enough missiles to kill two fire warriors and take a wound from the broadside despite the skyshield's forcefield. The Heavy Bolter bike squad killed all bar one fire warrior from the second squad, leaving the Tau objective almost open for the taking. The Captain and remaining veteran caused a wound on the crisis team.

The Tau response involved the riptide nova charging and killing the whirlwind and the last centurion, the Kroot regrouping and causing a wound on the multi melta bike, which was then killed by the hammerhead. The tactical squad holding my objective passed another 6 armour saves against fire from the broadside and fire warriors. The Tau commander challenged my captain, knowing I didn't have a weapon capable of ignoring his armour. My Captain took a wound but passed his morale check.

Turn 5
My bike squad wiped out the remaining fire warrior holding the Tau objective and claimed it. The captain caused a wound on the Tau commander and the veteran killed the two remaining crisis suits with his power axe.

The Tau response failed to wound the bikes, though the riptide killed the tactical squad. In the combat the Captain wounded the commander, leaving him just a single remaining wound.

Turn 6
The bike squads killed the rallied Kroot, and though the Tau managed to make the multi melta bikes run, the Heavy Bolter squad was still holding the objective. My Captain finally killed the Tau Commander and with that the game ended.

I held the Tau's objective, and had the points for linebreaker, slay the warlord and first blood. The Tau Riptide was in my deployment zone to claim linebreaker, but they had failed to take my objective.

Conclusion

A victory for the Iron Fists, but boy was it close. The Tau still had a fully functional Riptide, Hammerhead and broadside with an Ethereal and part of a fire warrior squad in tow, whilst I had the remnants of two bike squads and a Captain with a solitary veteran and the storm talon.

Looking back, keeping the riptide back in reserve probably made a huge difference to the outcome, though had it started on the table I'm confident that the combined fire from the Centurions, Sternguard (using their poisoned 2+ ammo), Melta bike squad and Librarian would have seen it toppled in the first turn. I could also have done much more damage by using the sternguard flamers and the Librarian's flame power on the fire warriors in the first turn rather than on the Ethereal's unit with its 4+ invulnerable save, but I've been burned by markerlights before and I really didn't want them boosting the Tau's firepower too much.