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Sunday, 14 November 2010

Reports From the Front Lines...

So, I played with the Tau army I was borrowing, and a little bit of a mixed bag.  I'll do one of my typically skimpy BatReps, but, first - a question.  How do YOU work out KPs for Drones?  During the game, we played it thusly - a Piranha's Drones disembark, and form a unit - WITH THE OTHERS OF THAT SQUADRON.  This meant that my total Drones for 4 Piranhas were worth 2 KP, and that they functioned as 2 units for Break Tests, picking targets, etc etc.  Afterwards, it was pointed out we may have played these wrong, it may be 4 KP, which changes the result, ofc.  I know, I know, it may be in the FAQ, but I cba to check it, and it's easier to ask my readers.  lol

That and I want to know how people feel about the issue - certainly I feel it unreasonably harsh if a squadron of 2 Piranhas is potentially 4 KPs...even though I don't blame the rules writing as edition changes throw these aberrations up (Nemesis Force Weapons, for instance...)





Anyway, on with the report, neh?
This pic is a view of your favourite blogger with the letter 'k' in his name from the Northern Hemisphere's opponent's deployment.   Well, *that* was a mouthful.  ANyway, this is how the Chaos forces arrayed themselves for battle.
100_1434.jpg picture by TheKingElessar

Each Rhino contains 5 Plague Marines, and 2 Meltaguns per unit.  I think the green (ie, painted!) one on the left of shot was Kharn's ride, too.  Pretty sure...later pics will prove me right or wrong, as I review the game.

Cold Ones are Hounds, Land Speeder is a Piranha...and the Pathfinders [Eldar] are additional Kroot thanks to a packaging cock-up.  Hey, don't blame me, I didn't pack the army!

The huddling fire Warriors there are behind the Pathfinders' 'Fish, beside three MP/PR Suits, and 3 Broadsides (one out of shot, because we had a Suit too few, and used a pile of dice to mark the 3rd Broadside until a suit died on the other flank.)
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A much better look at the sterling work that went into those finished Rhinos...The extra TL Combi-Bolters essentially serve as an ablative wound that slows Immobilisation a tad - and they can provide quite the deterrent to closing with lightly armoured troops.  In a way, they are more effective than Stormbolters in their role.  It's hard to explain more concisely - but this is NOT one of the weaknesses Chaos clearly has.  Also, we can see the rather neat scenery.  Better than half-painted craters, any day (another thing 'we' forgot to take with us.  lol)

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Some better shots of each corner I deployed in.  Since this was literally my first experience of Tau, opinions more than welcome - was I right to split into the corners? My opponent deployed first and was, ofc, going first too, but I reasoned Reserving my army gave him time to close too easily, and would make me arrive piecemeal.  Are my Kroot too close?  I was eager to get the cover save, my forgetting they only get a 3+ in woods, notwithstanding.  The Tau in the pic on the right (but deployed on my left... :-/ ) are 8 Pathfinders, to whom the Fish belongs.

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- Alternate view.  Note the Broadside, due to aforementioned mistakery.  He is being used as my Commander.  [What's the name? Shas'O? - Sounds like an Australian nickname...]

Halfway through my turn one - 100_1441.jpg - and things happen.
All the Rhinos fairly flew at me, utilising their Smokes so none were an obvious target.  Closest it is then.  At this point, I made my most egregious misplay of the night, one that continued until Turn 4.  I didn't realise I could fire both 'suit weapons.  Duh.  This comes from not properly reading the Dex and, in my eagerness to devote time to Reach and not preparation for the game, not writing my own army list.  Lesson time kiddies - If you don't know what your stuff does, READ the damn book!!  If you get someone to write you a list, make sure you understand the WHY'S and the WHEREFORES, because if you don't 'feel' what you're playing, you may as well never even unpack the case.

100_1442.jpg - This blurry mess is the result of some very frustrating shooting, to be honest.  While, yes, I shouldn't expect them to die, they're Plagues...I get a bit...well.  I fired half my army, and failed to kill one unit - that's how I saw it, and I wasn't delighted with the results so far.  Of course, and extra 6 S7 shots MIGHT have helped...

100_1443.jpg - The real source of frustration was here though.  Okay, smokes, but I (despite being a 'Head down as it was Shaken by centre Oblits) certainly expected to down ONE Rhino.  Markerlights helped me kill one Oblit - also very poor, I felt.  At this point I was wondering if I should have just lined up the board edge, but lack of central cover, poor armour, and even worse Ld made that feel like a very bad plan.  Was I wrong?

100_1446.jpg - Ah, yes.  The sum total of my damage to the Rhinos.  Sigh.

In his turn, things took a decisive turn for the worse, when my screen started to crumble faster than the Berlin Wall would have, had it been made from meringue.

100_1447.jpg - And he hadn't finished shooting, either...

This photo I took for posterity.  It's not every day that textured surfaces cause more lols than the episode of The Simpsons in the background (or was it Red Dwarf by this point...?) But, hey.
100_1449.jpg - Pretty sure it ended up a 1.
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Now, in my turn, I did a bit of harm, despite a meagre 2 hits from my 8 Markerlight shots - clearing out those Oblits.  I reasoned - my Suits are what matters in the army, them and the 'Heads, because they are the oomph, the killing power.  As long as I have them, I can butcher even PMs, and the Oblits are the only real threat to them both.  I accept that my Target priority may be skewed by years of playing fast, mobile, manoeuvrable armies...or Orks, who kill what's furthest away with shooting, because it is out of Charge Range.

On the other flank...
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A lot better, y'think?  Over here a lot of Kroot have bitten it already, so the Eldar are now Drones, from the departed Piranhas.  Bases are craters, obvs.  Yes, the icon is an Icon...I'm not convinced either, lol, but one unit of Deep Striking Oblits CAN turn the tide of many's a game.  Still, I would rarely do so.

Jumping ahead a little, he has broken my left screen entirely - at this point the Piranhas are gone, only their Drones remain.  In addition, he has annihilated my Pathfinders [GASP!] after charging them.  Well, 3 remain, but they are fleeing, like the 4 Kroot also almost out of shot.
100_1452.jpg Lucius = Kharn, btw.  Kharn went to get a new scenic skull base, and disappeared.  Hope he turns up...

100_1453.jpg - Um...this is just before that, showing how the Kroot die.  A good death, a Klingon death.  As in, cling-on until the Crisis team gets a target lock on the enemy, and annihilates them in a steaming bath of plasma.  Eldar=Drones again.

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Peek-a-boo!  The coffee cup isn't scenery, it's coffee.  Not great coffee either.  But not shit...and it's warm.  Forgot to say, one Crisis died turn one - the *SPOILERS* 'Suit casualty of *SPOILERS*.  :p

I had 3 teams of 2, with said Commander also.  Maybe, if I'd thought about KPs, I'd have...Yeah, right.  Thinking about KPs is no way to write the list, because it's more important how many you can SCORE than how few you can LOSE.  ALWAYS!!!! 


Wish people would get over that nonsense.

100_1455.jpg - A shit pic of his Oblits arrival.  Blew away Kharn etc.
100_1456.jpg - Some of my photography really sucks.
100_1457.jpg - empty space where centre Oblits were before.  He's running out of threats, and I have plenty of guns.  Still, he's already done a lot of damage, and it IS turn 4.  Rhino is Immob'd, by rocks?  Maybe be poor Railgun fire...not sure.

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That '1' is my roll to wound, after 2 of my 3 TL Broadsides failed to hit.  Epic Fail by these mini-Metal Gear Rex knock-offs there.

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Turn 5.  Trusting solid walls and cover to protect the hard targets from the Melta, while gambling the Drones won't get wiped out...Kroot are broken, ofc.

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Got the bastard in T5.  lol

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So much for the Drones.  Run, Devilfish!

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With Pathfinders gone, he rightly figured entrenched PMs would be immovable.  Maybe he could have gone for the jugular, but it was VERY tight, and I had a lot of teeth remaining.

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Well, he got the 'Fish, but 3 of the guys inside stayed and didn't break....obviously, I was able to blast the PMs into oblivion.  :)

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Other flank's survivors.  The Hammerhead made it too, but was firmly in the middle now.  Overall, I had more left, and more turns would have swung it more in my favour (probably.)

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His meagre survivors.  I think I got the Rhino in the middle with Railgun fire (the immobilised one) last turn.  Overall, great game, and either I won 11-10, or lost 11-12, depending on the Drones.

Well, any experienced Tau players wanna tell me what I did wrong?  List critique, while not ungratefully received, is superfluous, as I will write my own next time, lol.
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