BATTLE REPORTS - PUBLIC GAME - 26

Well, here it is. After an extreme delay (due to employment >:( ), I finally was able to get in a game. Don't worry, I should be on time for #27. To view my last game, click here. To view my next game click here. To view my batrep registry, click here.

This game was vs. the tau guy that had been my ally a few times in the recent past. Though new to the game, he is definitely picking things up pretty quickly. Given how much success I've had as his ally, it will definitely be more of a challenge on the other side of his guns.

THE CHALLENGER: For the greater good!

Shas'O: Twin-linked missile pods, plasma rifle
3-suit crisis suit team: Twin-linked burst cannons, plasma rifles
3-suit stealth suit team: Fusion gum, markerlight drone
2-suit broadside team: Twin-linked rail guns
Hammerhead: Railgun, smart missiles
2 10-fish firewarrior squads

THE DEFENDER: For the only good

My list was #3c, as usual

I rolled for sides and deployment, he rolled for first turn.

At deployment, the field looked like this:


for a hi-res copy, click here.

This was going to be interesting as it was basically two shooty armies which relied heavily on their vehicles and other heavy units. Shame I didn't get first turn, though....

TURN 1

The alliance, it seemed was short lived. The Tau force with which Melchoir had recently fought had come under the leadership of a new, and more powerful leader. This particular commander had a distinctly different set of ideas as to what constituted "the greater good".

Melchoir looked down at a map that he had placed on the floor of the ruined bunker. The Tau forces had been conducting raids all over the area, and he knew that he had to be careful.

"Where do you think they will strike next?" asked Sanario in a low voice, almost afraid to tempt fate.

"It's hard to say. This new commander is using almost Eldar-like tactics; attacking swiftly, and seemingly at random. I can't make any sense out of this."

"Marshall!" the excited voice of his platoon commander came blaring through the vox system, "The Tau! They're here!"

"What?" Melchoir almost shouted, "Let's go, soldiers!"

He starts the game off by moving up his hammerhead and his shas'o on the left, and his crisis and stealth suits up on the right.

In shooting, we start with a discussion about what the broadsides can see. He was under the impression that he would have a clean line of sight on my basilisk, while I was very much under the impression that he didn't. In the end, we counted the chimera, demolisher, sentinel and the bunker as sufficient LOS blockers. Sans a better target, his broadsides open up on my sentinel and railgun it silly.

His hammerhead, meanwhile, targeted my squad on the left and hit with his submunitions. Of the 5 wounds, 4 of them made their 5+ cover save.

On the right, his crisis suits shot at my sentinel with their missiles and scored a "crew shaken" and an "armament destroyed" on a pair of glances. Thankfully, his plasma rifles were out of range. Without better targets, the stealth team also shoots the sentinel, but, along with a missed markerlight went a lot of missed burst cannon shots. What little did hit failed to do anything.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In retaliation, I move my own strong, vehicular flank forwards. As well, I get my guys on the left out behind cover (I don't know why I put them in cover in the first place. I think I had the fear of stealth suits). My dragoons disembark from their chimera, and both of my tanks pop smoke.

In shooting, a barrage of lasgun fire downs the markerlight drone, and one of the sealth suit members. My basilisk, which really isn't going to have that many great targets this game, decides to shoot at the hammerhead. Unlike usual, my basilisk actually hit the hammerhead dead on and with the easy glance (thank you ordnance rules) managed a "armament destroyed" result. Looks like the hammerhead will have to rely on its charming personality to blow up any tanks this game. 8)

A voice crackled over the micro bead, "Sir! The Tau are already all over us! AAAAHG!"

Melchoir snapped his head to see a barrage of gunfire crash into his sentinel. He saw the stealth suits just to his side. He saw the crisis suits immediately in front of him. He began to panic.

"All units, emergency maneuvers!" he shouted to his detachment, "And kill those stealth suits! Now!"

Responding to orders, the tanks in front of him immediately fired their smoke grenades, placing a thick, wispy mass of off-yellow smoke wreathing all around them. The sentinel pilot, recovering from his brief encounter with Tau gunfire heard the orders, and he knew how to follow them:

The sealthsuits immediately began to jump back. Shocked by the sudden onset of the metal monstrosity, they frantically tried to dodge out of the way.

No matter what, he probably would have suffered the same fate: a rampaging sentinel attack. In any case, my sentinel hit twice on the charge, but one failed to wound, and the other was blocked by the stealth suit armor. In return, he does nothing.

After this point, the field looked like this:

TURN 2

In his turn, he starts to collapse his forces across towards the right. It's pretty obvious by this point that our primary force groups are both completely unable to engage each other.

In shooting, he puts a nasty gout of burst cannon fire on my left squad. I don't think I passed a single cover save. At least he wasn't able to get all of the burst cannons into LOS (he took a bad difficult terrain roll). Also, much to my displeasure, he was able to see my platoon HQ lascannon team, which was destroyed by compulsion (the only thing he could see), after a pair of failed cover saves.

In assault, his stealth suits desperately attempt to fend off the sentinel which hit, but didn't wound.

After this point, the field looked like this:

Now completely bereft of puropse, my platoon HQ charges forwards to act as a distraction. Meanwhile, my center moves up into the cover of the ruined sentinel, hoping to eventually get into close combat with the crisis suits. My vehicles on the right split up. As my demolisher is already in a good location, it stays put while my chimera, now re-ladened with its squad, guns it up behind the trees.

My demolisher begins the shooting phase by shooting the demolisher cannon at the right-side firewarriors squad and scattering, but not too badly. A few partials, and a few failed cover saves give the demolisher a couple of kills.

My basilisk takes aim at the crisis suits but scatters 5" away. Otherwise, most of the rest of my stuff is hiding so securely out of LOS, that they don't have any targets themselves.

"Men! We have secured this flank in the name of the Emperor!" Sanario shouted over the sporadic bursts of weapons fire. "Now, let us destroy these foul enemies where they stand!"

The command squad, and a supporting infantry squad attempted to charge their way through the rubble towards the enemy.

After this point, the field looked like this:

TURN 3

In his movement phase, he basically consolidates his army into a strong core in the center. Most importantly, his crisis suits roll much better for difficult terrain and enter the building in front of my command squad.

In shooting, he begins by using his hammerhead's smart missiles on my left side squad, killing several. Then he opens fire on the two squads in the middle 10 pulse rifles, 3 burst cannons, 4 fusion rifles (3 in rapid fire) and a missile pod blast into my two squads in the middle. I fail every single cover save. I lose my entire infantry squad, and half of the command squad when the dust finally settles.

In assault, both of his stealth suits hit, but neither of them glance. My sentinel also hits, but fails to wound.

After this point, the field looked like this:

Suddenly a massive barrage of tau gunfire slammed down on the guardsmen seemingly from nowhere. Shot after shot ripped through flak armor, and ricocheted off of the ruins of the sentinel, only ADDING to the number of casualties. Melchoir frantically looked around him as a dozen of his soldiers were ripped, screaming, to the ground.

"Sanario," said Melchoir, looking nervously at the priest.

"Melchoir, you know we've got to do this!" Sanario replied in an overly-firm tone of voice. "Now, let us avenge our fallen commrades!"

Melchoir closed his eyes and got up from the rubble to charge. Suddenly, the burst cannon fire stopped. The officer looked about nervously for signs of the crisis suits as he charged forwards:

In my turn, I continue to advance up my right side. Terrified of what those crisis suits will do if they can get a second shot in, I move my demolisher up to provide an LOS block from the rubble. I would have moved him farther forwards, and thus provided even more cover, but I was scared to put the vehicle in LOS of the hammerheads.

Shooting begins with my basilisk aiming at his crisis suits. With a hundred prayers to the Emperor, the basilisk puts the shell straight on the mark. All three hits wound. His crisis suits are instantly splattered!

Shooting continues with my demolisher missing his Shas'O with a plasma cannon, and my junior officer picking off a firewarrior with his storm bolter.

In assault, my sentinel hits, but the shot bounces harmlessly off the stealth suit armor. The suits are likewise ineffective against the sentinel.

After this point, the field looked like this:

Turn 4

With his crisis suits shredded in the bottom of a crater, he decides to yield the center, and have me come to him. The only exception to this is the firewarriors who book it out of the building. This, much to my displeasure, puts them on the other side of some substantial terrain from my chimera.

The command squad huddled up against the side of the demolisher, preparing to strike. From out of nowhere, the Tau's Shas'o leaned around behind the demolisher and opened fire. Melchoir snapped his head towards Sanario to see a missile bounce off the corner of the demolisher and slam into the guardsman in front of him. The missile blast blew straight through the guardsman and send a hail of razor sharp missile and flak vest fragments blasting straight through the priest's carapace armor.

Melchoir stared on as he cowered and watched the barrage of plasma and missile fire pass mere feet in front of him. The officer watched as the weapons fire vaporized everyone in sight. He turned to look at his standard bearer who was desperately trying to huddle behind cover. His wild stare was returned.

The gunfire paused for a moment.

"RUN!" Melchoir shouted, and began to bolt across the field behind the ruins of the sentinel, with the standard bearer close on his heels:

So, the only thing that has LOS is the shas'o on my command squad, which consisted of everyone just barely in LOS except my officer. He gets three hits, all of them wound. I fail all three cover saves. After much deliberating, I decide to get rid of the priest, and let the standard bearer live.

My command squad fails its morale test. It rerolls due to the standard. It fails again...

*sigh*

On the other side, his hammerhead missile pods shot at the left side infantry squad along with the center firewarriors. Of the 14 shots, five manage to hit and wound. I fail every single one of my cover saves, wiping the squad.

At least, in assault, my sentinel finally steps on one of the stealth suit members proper. Outnumbered 4:1 and at less than half strength, the remaining stealth suits bolts for it, but is shot in the back by my sentinel pilot's pistol. I massacre towards the trees.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In retaliation, I move in my right side to take advantage of the fact that all of his units are out of cover.

Shooting starts with my basilisk, which aimed at his center firewarriors but scattered 6" away. It got pretty close to the side armor of the hammerhead, but the half strength of the indirect blast rendered the shot useless.

My demolisher turned it's turret towards the hapless firewarriors. It fired and scattered, but once again not too badly, managing to nail a couple more with some partials. The chimera opens up with its machine guns on the center firewarrior squad and the two heavy bolters rack up four kills before the stubber and the junior officer's storm bolter take off another pair of them.

Phased by the intense boltering, the center squad of firewarriors breaks and runs. The squad that was standing out in the open in front of a demolisher, on the other hand, found a sudden untapped well of courage, and decided to stick around.

After this point, the field looked like this:

TURN 5

Realising his error, he quickly returns his firewarriors back to the building for safe keeping. As well, with no chance of taking the center of the field, he turns his attention towards the left side, moving up his broadsides, and moving his shas'o in position to kill my platoon HQ.

Shooting begins with his hammerhead missile pods scoring an amazing 4 wounds from 4 shots. I pass only one 4+ cover save. Have you noticed the pattern yet?

Free from the obligation to kill my platoon HQ, the shas'o targets the side armor of the demolisher and manages to score a glance through the vehicle's thick armor. Thankfully, the result was merely a "crew shaken".

Otherwise, everything else is out of LOS.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In my turn, I run my demolisher far, far away. Hopefully it will be set up to do something on turn 6.

Meanwhile, my chimera finds itself staring down its barrels at the shas'o:

Letting lose with it's machine guns, the light tank manages to nick off a wound from the crisis suit. Half VPs, bay-bee!

I think it's really fascinating that I totally forgot about his firewarriors cowering in the building. That's definitely a neat little trick: hiding your guys on the first floor and hoping that your opponent wouldn't see them. Oddly enough, the picture above shows that I clearly saw the firewarriors, without really seeing them. Psychology is so interesing...

After this point, the field looked like this:

TURN 6

In his turn, he moves his skimmer just to keep it moving. As well, he charged out with his Shas'O, eager to kill something on turn 6. The only viable target: Melchoir and his standard bearer as they try to flee off the board.

Melchoir turned his head around and looked. He had almost managed to escape, and there, just to his left, came the enemy commander speeding towards him with his jetpacks in full gear. The officer looked back forwards towards a low hedge not far in front of him. He was almost there, he thought between heaving breaths.

Suddenly, the sounds of missiles launching erupted behind him. "This is the greater good?" Melchoir managed to think before the world suddenly went black.

In shooting, his shas'o managed a pair of missiles into my fleeing command squad (assault 36" wow.) and the hammerhead's smart missile system manages to penetrate my sentinel and blow it to kingdom come.

After this point, the field looked like this:

He killed my narrator! Needlessly! What a bastard! I was determined to make him pay for his foul deeds.

I start by moving my chimera up and dumping out my dragoons:

Time to die! My heavy bolter/stubber manages to kill one of his firewarriors, and my massive barrage of lasgun fire manages a normal 5 wounds. He fails three of his five armor saves, and is, uncharacteristically, lasgunned off the board.

Meanwhile, my demolisher took careful aim at his shas'o. Both of the plasma cannons missed, but the lascannon hit and wounded, instantly killing it.

Then, for good measure, my basilisk shot at the hammerhead and rolled a "hit". I easily glanced the vehicle and scored a "vehicle immobilized". I was content with this until the random observer of our game noted that if a skimmer was moving fast, it is destroyed by an immobilized result. The smart missile hell-bot goes down in flames.

After this point, the field looked like this:

FINAL RESULTS:

He killed everything but my armored fist, my demolisher, and my basilisk for a total of 504pts. I killed everything but a pair of broadsides for 860pts. for a total of +356 in my favor for a "solid victory".

A few things to note:

- Firstly, this game wound up being a weird mirror-match of sorts. We both had S7+ weapons on tough, mobile platforms, and we both had slow infantry that weren't really worth a damn. This created the odd situation where if either of us struck out to engage the other, they would wind up taking a barrage of high strength, low AP units straight to the face. Thus, the two of us sort of had to dance around each other. In the end, I think what made the difference was that my basilisk was able to ignore this little ballet and just pound on stuff. I suppose the reason I even got a basilisk in the first place was to blow up crisis suits, which it did very well.

- As well, I definitely have more respect for the smart missile system. Time and again, I forgot that it didn't need LOS to be able to shoot at my stuff. Basically, that hammerhead became a copy of my basilisk, except with a maximum range of 36" rather than a minimum of 36". I'll definitely have to be more careful next time...

- Never underestimate the close combat power of a sentinel. My enemies have yet to learn that anything that is within 12" of any of my sentinels WILL get charged, usually causing an incredible amount of confusion and frustration.

- I feel bad for those poor crisis suits. They were caught between either being outside of the basilisk's minimum range, or being close enough to be chopped to death by my command squad, or blown apart by my demolisher. There didn't seem to be a safe place on the board for those guys.

MVP: good old "Lord Excellence" the basilisk wins this honor yet again. That little tank that could killed some 300 pts. of stuff by itself. As well, I credit it for breaking what could otherwise have been a bad situation for me. I really didn't expect this tank to do anything at all this game, but it sure showed me.

Hero of the game: My right side sentinel. Though it was shaken violently by enemy gunfire, and lost it's primary weapon, this honorable sentinel showed that unless it's dead, a sentinel will always soldier on ;)