Thursday, 11 June 2015

A Tale of 7 Gamers - Tau Obsidian Enclave


Hi all - time for another dose of Burning Eye medicine - this time of the blue-skinned variety!

My club, MAD Wargames, has a bit of a history of running these campaigns using the format stolen from the original white dwarf fantasy tale series that ran years ago. This one is a little bigger than usual however, as seven players have signed up to take part. Unusually, we've also got a nice mix of armies taking part too, with the following factions represented.

Tau (yours truly)
Chaos Space Marines (by Mj over at Vulkan's Fireborn)
New Codex Space Marines (Ryan)
Necrons (Martin)
Nurgle Daemons (Sean)
Dark Eldar (George)
Dark Angels (Dave)

we're running the tale on a fairly slow timeline to start with, partly to see how we all get on with the games and the painting and partly to make sure we don't run out of money for new toys in between rounds. The first round therefore is set at 500pts, and our armies need to be painted up and ready by the end of August.

During round one, we'll each play the other 6 players, with a win worth 3 pts, a draw worth 1pt and a loss 0pts. Completely painting your 500pts of models will net you a further 9pts making the round worth a total of 27pts. Painting more than 50% of the force gets you 5pts.

In the first round, we've suspended the usual CAD requirement of 2 troops choices to allow a bit of variety into the lists, so only 1 troops unit is required.

My first match is down for this evening, with either Martin or Mj stepping up as my opponent.

I've agonised a bit over my list, wavering back and forth over choices and balance, but I've finally plumped for the following:

HQ
Darkstrider

ELITES
3 Stealth suits, 1 fusion blaster, marker light and target lock
3 Stealth suits, 1 fusion blaster, marker light and target lock

TROOPS
8 Fire warriors including Shas'ui, all carrying EMP grenades
Devilfish, burst cannon and gun drones

I think it's a pretty balanced list, giving me lots of flexibility in deployment thanks to the infiltrating stealth suits. Each unit has a markerlight so I can adapt my shooting as necessary and darkstrider gives me a huge advantage against marines thanks to his structural analyser, which makes them effectively T3, and thus wounded by my pulse carbines on the roll of a 2+. He also makes it much harder to charge his squad as they can first fire overwatch and then fall back D6" before the charging unit is moved.

I toyed with the idea of bringing less stealth suits and more fire warriors, but the potential for difficulty dealing with vehicles meant that I wanted the extra fusion blaster. To really give me a robust force, I added the EMP grenades, meaning that any walkers that feel like charging my squishy fire warriors will have to think carefully about the benefits before trying it.

The final selection choices then were whether or not to give the devilfish the smart missile system for additional shooting, and what to equip my fire warriors with. I plumped for the gun drones on the devilfish for now, partly due to points (I'd have to either drop a fire warrior or their EMP grenades to afford the SMS) and partly due to having felt first hand the extreme irritation of guns that cause pinning checks. On two separate occasions in games before I've seen significant portions of my army pinned for several turns, completely ruining my strategy, and I felt I wanted in on that game. Consequently I've got 2 units that can potentially cause pinning, with the gun drones being an annoying distraction.

I'll be doing my best to take proper notes during the Tale games with a view to building up a complete set of battle reports. If I get time I might even do a bit of fiction to go with them!

I've also got a bonus for you!

Tonight is also the first game in the new MAD League Bloodbowl season - this time with only 6 players, I'm hoping we'll have a much more slick, easy to run and finish season. I'm in with my beloved Skaven this time round, with the five other teams being Amazons, High Elves, Lizardmen, and two Chaos Dwarf teams.

My first game is against the Amazons, who I suspect I'm going to have a tough time putting on the ground. If Martin's dice behave, this could be a difficult game, though with 150,000 gold pieces to spend on a skill kitty at the start of the season things shouldn't be quite so bad.

Till next time, watch out for the bottomless pit of despair!