Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Tale of 5 Gamers - Tau v Dark Eldar 750pts

Hi all, I've got a battle report for you today, from the Tale of 5 Gamers we're running at my club, MAD wargaming. This was a game between myself and George, who's got a fledgling Dark Eldar force on the way (ok, mainly it's stuff borrowed from me and proxied at the moment).

It was a 750pt game, and we played on a 4'x4' table, fighting for 4 objectives using the eternal  war crusade mission.

My 750pt list isn't the most balanced out there:
Commander Shadowsun
3 Stealth suits, including fusion blaster
Riptide, ion accelerator, twin-linked fusion blasters, early warning override, velocity tracker
2x 6 Fire Warriors in Devilfish

It's definitely heavily biased in order to fit in the Riptide, and the two Devilfish, whilst providing essential mobility to the fire warriors, don't really bring enough firepower to justify their inclusion in such a small force.

George's list was far more sensible:
Medusa in venom
3 Mandrakes (warlord here)
Venom with 6 Kabalite Warriors
2x Raider with 5 wyches
2x 3 Reaver jetbikes, heat lance and cluster caltrops
5 scourges with 4 haywire blasters

The eagle-eyed among you will notice that there are some odd looking units in the Dark Eldar force - and I must own up to forgetting to bring the models George wanted to borrow - sorry Pal!

As you can see, we ended up with diagonal deployment and I placed my units first, dropping the two devilfish in at the back of the board behind the bastion. The Riptide took up position near the objective in my deployment zone, and the stealth suits infiltrated into the ruins in the centre of the table. At this point, things started to go wrong. In the first turn, the riptide nova charged and let rip with its overcharged shot from the ion accelerator. I got lucky with the scatter from its scourge target clipping two venoms and a raider as well as the infantry. This meant that none of the transports could protect themselves by jinking. I failed to wound the scourge. I failed to glance the raider. I glanced one venom and penetrated the other. It passed its invulnerable save. The stealth team opened up on the raider in front of them, and glanced it, also causing it to jink.

In return, the Dark Eldar advanced, one scourge dying to landing in dangerous terrain. The raiders opened up with their dark lances, glancing one of the devlifishes once. The remaining scourges opened fire, stripping two hull points from the other transport. Then things really started to go badly, as the two venoms opened up on the riptide, causing three unsaved wounds.

My turn two and I was beginning to regret the relatively small number of guns I had on the table, and in particular the modest range of those guns. The fire warriors dismounted from the Devilfish to claim the objectives, and both sets of drones detached to provide supporting fire (and avoid being destroyed with the transports that I didn't fancy would survive the scourges much longer). I opened up with everything I had, and managed to take down one of the raiders, pinning the wyches it was carrying, whilst I also killed two scourges and a reaver jetbike, causing the remainder of the unit to flee, though they stayed on the table.

In response the Dark Eldar rallied their bikers, whilst the scourges jumped away out of range. the remaining raider with the wyches advanced on my right flank, supported by the second unit of bikes. the scourges wrecked one of the devilfish, whilst both venoms opened fire on the fire warriors. In a spectacularly bad display of dice rolling, they only managed a single wound, which was saved by their armour. The reaver jetbikes on my right flank more than made up for it though by charging the right hand unit of fire warriors, wiping them out largely thanks to their cluster caltrops.

On turn 3, the remaining unit of fire warriors wiped out the wyches on foot, and the stealth suits killed a mandrake. Sadly the rest of my fire was ineffectual.

The wyches on my right flank shot at the two drones near the objective, killing one, whilst the remaining devilfish had its burst cannon shot off by the raider on my right flank. One of the venoms killed the last drone, whilst the other killed 4 fire warriors on the left flank. The reaver jetbikes failed to charge the two remaining infantry, whilst the other unit charged into the stealth suits, killing 3 and wounding shadowsun twice thanks to their cluster caltrops. In combat she failed to wound them.

On my turn 4, the two gun drones on my left flank killed a reaver, causing them to flee, whilst the Riptide took down a venom with a glancing hit. In combat, Shadowsun was wounded once, but I failed her save to see her fall to the floor. In my turn, the raider fell back away from the riptide,

On turn 5, the Riptide charged the mandrakes, wiping them out, whilst the kabalites killed the gun drone. By this time it was all over bar the shouting, and in turn six the Riptide finally fell to the massed fire of the remaining Dark Eldar.

Well the Dark Eldar won by wiping me out (though George has since pulled out of the tale, so the lost points won't count, hooray!).

The biggest thing to learn from this game for me I think was the need to balance the shooting in a Tau list. The Riptide is the only thing I have with a range over 18", and for an army that is really pretty pants in combat, I need to start shooting early and keep shooting as long as possible. At 1000pts I think I'm going to have to plan the list very carefully (though thankfully I'll have the new codex by then with all the fun of the new formations to play with).

For the remaining 750pt games I need to remember to focus my fire and not get outmanoeuvred - I completely forgot that the devilfish can move 12" (I know, how stupid can you get?) so if I played the game again I'd probably look to focus fire on one part of the enemy whilst the riptide delayed the remainder.

I'm playing another game in the tale tonight so I'll let you know how that goes!

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