BATTLE REPORTS - BLOOD CONQUERS ALL - 6

To view the Blood Conquers registry, click here.

It was a dark and stormy night. The game store was quiet. Only the most die-hard veterans were present.

This game saw me faced off against a Tau player who was the bane of my public game series. Several engagements years ago had left my army beaten, battered, and broken on a pretty consistent basis. But this is a new day, with a new army, and, most importantly, a new rules edition. My opponent didn't have a paper list for me to photograph, so I don't know exactly what he had, but it went a little something like this:

THE CHALLENGER: Tau suits - dressed to kill
1850 pts.

HQ suit (2xplasma), with 2 bodyguards (1x melta, 1x plasma apiece)
- 2x gun drones
-deepstriking

HQ suit (2xplasma), with 2 bodyguards (1x melta, 1x plasma apiece)
- 2x gun drones

3x crisis suits with plasma, burst cannon

3x crisis suits with plasma, missile pod
- 2x gun drones

Pathfinders with markerlights
- Devilfish with burst cannon, disruption pods

Firewarriors

Firewarriors
- Devilfish with burst cannon, disruption pods

Hammerhead
- Rail gun

3 broadsides with rail guns, super missile things
- 2x gun drones.

THE DEFENDER: Only cowards need better than Sv5+! 1850 pts.

I used list 5-1850-b, my 3x power blob of doom list, like last time.

The mission this time was a slight variation of seize ground. It was identical in every way except instead of rolling for a random number of objectives and placing them at the beginning, a new objective popped up at the end of each game turn and scattered off from the center.

I rolled for pitched battle deployment, and my opponent rolled to go first. At deployment the field looked like this:

So, my opponent put basically all of his army down on the table. I looked at that and thought about how little I wanted to be exposed to Tau gunfire turn 1 . As well, it made no sense to me to commit my troops and get shot to pieces when I didn't even know where the objectives would be. Even though all that clustered stuff looked like great artillery fodder, I took a page from my opponent in the previous game and just stuck my whole army in reserve.


TURN 1

Report concerning the action on: 7 Treunos
Daxos Line

The morning of the seventh dawned grey and drizzly. My troops were encamped in ruined buildings near a tiny spaceport that we were holding as a contingency for reinforcements in the future. After a few more such days of this weather, I expect the parched land, once quenched, to bring forth a variety of florae of which I may then be able to engage in a field study. However, until such a time as botany may be bravely attempted, I was forced to remain indoors, lest I find myself damp and unable to fight properly in my moist condition.

It was in this very morning that we were informed that the grand fleet of the Imperium had destroyed a great Tau ship in orbit in a battle most epic. This brought great cheer to the troops, and a special ecstaticity to my adjunct officer of the fleet. We were informed that debris from the spacecraft was falling to the planet all around our general position. Whilst most was mere detritus, we were ordered to investigate it where it landed, for signs of survivors in escape pods, or for information which may have been placed in devices designed to allow data slates (or whatever is their equivalent), to be safely transported to ground from orbit.

At the urging of my astropath, I withdrew my troops slightly from our positions into hiding. The wretched psyker predicted that remnants from orbit would indeed fall directly on our position, and that there were already Tau forces nearby who were searching for them. Properly prepared, we could catch them completely unawares. An ambush, how grand!

Indeed, no sooner had we set up in our new positions than we saw a Tau force cautiously creeping towards the spaceport.

Needless to say, me putting down ZERO targets for him to blow off the board with his first turn was a little disheartening to my opponent. Without anything to sink his teeth into, he just sort of ambles towards the middle in order to better get into position for our first objective, wherever it may land.

After this point, the field looked like this:

Upon seeing the worthy aquatic foe, I put my whistle to my lips in preparation to instigate a massed charge. I was distracted by my adjunct astropath retching blood onto my flak armor. He gurgled to me that now was not yet time to unleash the dogs of war.

I waited patiently. No use in arguing against sorcery.

Needless to say, nothing happened in my turn. At the end, the first objective popped up and scattered towards my side of the board.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 2

With still no targets to see, my opponent just sort of spreads out more. With putting much of his forces into or directly behind the starport and deepstriking some suits into the other corner, he has a reasonable diagonal of field coverage, just like me in the last game I played.

He does show signs of apprehension, though. He knows that a part of my army is going to come in by outflanking, and he doesn't just want to loose his whole right-side force straight away, so he sort of peels it back in a little, and waits.

After this point, the field looked like this:

"Now! Now!" the astropath pleaded. I drew in a great heave of air and blasted on my whistle as loud as a man ever did. The piercing shriek bounced 'twixt the buildings like a thunderclap, reverberating with great force. Then I heard it. A great battle cry roiled up from all around me. I great, murderous shout eclipsed even the blasting of my whistle as over a hundred guardsmen began their charge across the open space. What gallantry!

My turn begins with me rolling Rhamael in for reserves, but coming in on the left! Then I pick up the die and re-roll it, letting me come in on the right. Then I roll for the rest of my reserves. Much of my army makes it in on 4+, but most critically, both of my other blob squads roll 3's for reserve, which, thanks to the astropath, becomes a 4, and they charge onto the field. In fact, the only thing that didn't manage to make it onto the field was my HQ. Too busy blowing his whistle, I suppose.

In shooting, some of the dudes I put on the left to distract his HQ picks off his gun drones with meltaguns. Meanwhile my artillery fires, but once again is basically only able to pick off drones thanks to all the cover saves he gets. Meanwhile, Rhamael's squad tears it up. A fusillade of melta takes down the hammerhead, and the plasma squad picks off even more gun drones (not pictured). I "like the wind" it on the blob squad, but it rolls really poorly on its fleet roll.

Everything else basically charges forward, "go go go"ing towards the middle as fast as they can. At the end of the turn, another objective falls just right of center.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 3

My opponent now finally has what he's been waiting for - a chance to gun down my guys in the open. Unfortunately for him, my guys are now much closer than I'm sure he would have liked. His army closes ranks and prepares to fire:

And shooting he does. Markerlights go up on one of my non-outflanking power blobs and the broadsides do terrible casualties with their missiles. Meanwhile the rest of his forces unload over on the outflankers, putting down the plasma gunners and most of the meltagun SWS. Thankfully, cover does it's job somewhat, and the outflankers don't suffer too badly. Meanwhile, he throws a penetrating hit on my left side manticore which cover fails to stop, exploding the vehicle, taking out a nearby blob guardsman with it.

In assault, he charges his suits in a multi-assault into my stuff he shot up on the left (once again poorly placed for a multi-charge...).

With all the efficacy of a wet noodle fight, the unarmed guardsmen do nothing to the Tau suits, while the suits put down three wounds, all of which are stopped by flak armor. Let the ineffectivity begin!

After this point, the field looked like this:

After last round's shooting, I know I can ill afford to sustain such casualties into the future. I've got to get a grip on his forces now and pound him where I've got him.

In movement, my HQ shows up, and everything in the center sprints forward as fast as it can. Hopefully the next turn I'd be able to get into close combat with something in the space port in the middle. Meanwhile, Rhamael continues to press the attack from the side.

While shooting is tragically poor due to cover saves, things heat up with the assault phase, beginning with Rhamael charging the firewarriors in the nearby building:

Rhamael personally took down three firewarriors with his powersword. Meanwhile, my outflanking power blob sets up a multi-charge on both his empty devilfish and on a nearby crisis suit squad.

Unfortunately, the 6 rerolling eviscerator attacks horribly flub it, and fail to destroy the devilfish. It did knock off its burst cannon and immobilized it, so I guess that's good enough. Meanwhile the 12 rerollable power weapon attacks do some very, very unkind things to the I2 WS2 suits...

My men charged bravely and boldly forward. No thought of personal danger appeared before them as they continued their charge against the xeno threat. As particles of debris fell about us, the enemy was quickly being forced from having any hopes of recovering anything themselves.

Furthermore, it is exactly this kind of "lead from the front" bravery that I so personally value in an Imperial army. All officers should attempt to emulate this level of clarity and bravery in their own engagements.

As the turn ended, another objective popped up, right next to the previous one.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 4

My opponent can clearly see that his position has been overrun:

And, wisely sensing that he has the real danger of getting tabled if I can multicharge my rerollable power weapons into his suits, he conducts a swift and effective withdraw from his now-untenable position:

Saved from potential annihilation, his force unloads a murderous short-range barrage against my forces. Shooting begins with almost all of his pathfinder markerlights hitting my outflanking blob. Then he shoots it with basically his entire army. The last gun drone put down the last shot on my blob's last unit (the priest), who failed his rosarius test. The blob is dead. Long live the blob!

Otherwise, the only stuff that happens is a few assorted casualties, one of which was his left-side suits finally putting down a guardsman to no damage in return. The remaining officer squad passes its leadership.

After this point, the field looked like this:

So, in my turn, I start thinking about the end game. If I can seriously control the spaceport, I can dig in with a pair of blob squads to provide a shield for other units to claim the nearby objectives. This means clearing away those awful, awful markerlight pathfinders and extending my close combat threat range even further, to push the suits back away even more from the objectives.

In shooting, a combination of flamer and artillery fire nails his firewarriors, which causes them to flee. In assault, the dudes on the left actually put a wound on one of the suits, while my virtually uninjured power blob tears apart the pathfinders before they have a chance to blink. Everything consolidates as best it can towards his suit blob.

Another objective pops up and scatters way off to the left.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 5

My opponent, now moved squarely off of the obejctives, now has to focus on taking them back the only way Tau can: with gunfire. He quickly jostles his suits around to form a makeshift gunline.

He opens fire with everything he has. Without markerlights, however, the task is much more vain, and once I go to ground with the first shot, not a whole lot is able to make it through a 3+ cover save. In the end, he does some damage, but my blob can survive another round of shooting like that and still have a model on one of the objectives.

Meanwhile, the left side noodle-fest comes to a close as his suits put down some wounds which finally stick. The officer fails his morale check and is swept off the board.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In my turn, I consolidate my forces onto the objectives. In the middle, I have 2 blob squads with at least 1 model parked on an objective, while my PCS is planted squarely on, and "incoming!"s himself. Rhamael approaches to support while a melta SWS moves up to take my backfield objective.

In shooting, my artillery seriously whiffs, but, with the help of "fire on my target!", the CCS takes down a couple of suits on the left.

After this point, the field looked like this:

I prepare for a couple more turns of him trying to dig me out of cover with plasma, but he rolls for turn 6 and fails.


FINAL RESULTS

I have 3 objectives, he has 0, for an Imperial Guard victory.

- I'm really happy with how I played things out this game. Denying my opponent two turns of shooting was key, and got him to sort of spread out, which meant he was trying to play a game of position (and no one beats blob squad guard in a game of position). Likewise, I was able to get into close combat right away when I showed up. After my opponent's skilled retreat I was seriously tempted to charge out of the bushes and wildly pursue him, but thankfully cooler nerves prevailed and I kept them on the objectives. In general, from all the battle reports I've seen including Tau, the best way to beat them appears to be to just rush up and browbeat them. That's exactly what I did in this game - literally running up and pushing his suits off the objectives, and it worked rather well.

- While the game did end pretty quickly, and that was definitely to my advantage, I highly doubt that my opponent would have been able to kill off my blobs even before the end of turn 7. Stubborn, reroll morale infantry are nearly impossible to dislodge without close combat (which the Tau don't have), as, even against the impressive amount of firepower that my opponent put out, 40 dudes with 3++s weren't going to be going anywhere any time soon.

MVP: The astropath was worth his weight in GOLD this game. Admittedly, I'm not quite so sure how the game would have come out any worse if one of my blobs didn't make it in from reserve, but getting at least two in was crucial. Plus, the game would have done a lot more poorly for me if Rhamael had shown up on the side he was originally slated to show up on.

Hero of the Game: The right side center blob. Instead of rushing out and trying to come to grips on its foes, it had the nerves of steel to just sit there and let an entire Tau suit army wail on it.

And there my troops were, perfectly still in the face of a most murderous barrage of high quality xeno weaponry. Such magnificent forbearance brought me to tears. Once I had regained my composure, I ordered my artillery to wipe the Tau machines from the field. Realising their position untenable, they enacted an orderly retreat. We were left to retake the space port, and to claim all of the debris that fell in our area. Much of this has been sent to ministorum intelligence agents who are currently combing over every detail to find hints of our enemy's plans or weaknesses.

With such brave and noble troops, armed with the right knowledge and proper leadership, ultimate victory over our enemies is assured.

In grateful service,

Sir Daxos P. Clinton III - KAP, EKS, ICM - Foleran Armies in his Majesty's Royal Dictate.
Blood Conquers All