1000 Point Tau Vs Eldar, Cities of Death
The devilfish roared over the disheveled and dilapidated remains of the Gue'la city, banking and veering to avoid plumes of smoke and wretched, listing masonry. Inside, Shas'ui Kahad poked his head into the cockpit and prodded Ui'Nisa, the navigator, in the arm.
"Hey, Nisa, where are we going? The la's are getting nervous."
Nisa shook her head. "La's are always nervous. Get out of here--you're breaking regulations."
Kahar smirked. "But for the Greater Good, Ui, the Greater Good! I want to know how to prepare them. This op was really short notice, you know? We didn't even have time to memorize the floor plans of the buildings around here."
Nisa favored him with a sour expression and then, glancing over her shoulder to confirm that Vre'Ordan wasn't paying attention, leaned down to whisper. "Overheard El'Ashar say some kind of raiding force ambushed a convoy--real fast, no survivors. Some Kroot are scouting the area, and we're back-up."
Kahar nodded. "Snipers, then?"
Nisa sighed. "The Kroot better hope not."
On his way back down the hatch, Kahar winked at her. "If one goes to war naked, one is likely to be killed, yes? Tau'va, Nisa."
"Tau'va, and good luck."
Immediately following my Ksons draw against the Imperial Guard, I played a smaller, Gamma-level cityfight with my friend, Fraley, and his Eldar. The mission, again, was 'Domination.'
Tau Interceptor Cadre
1 Shas'el w/Plasma Rifle, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Targeting Array, and HW Multitracker
3 XV8 Crisis Suits w/ TL Missile Pods and Flamers
10 Firewarriors w/Shas'ui, Bonded in Devilfish (Multitracker, Decoy Launchers)
1 Pirhana w/Targeting Array, Burst Cannon
2 Pirhana w/Targeting Array, Burst Cannon
Heavy Support 1 Hammerhead w/Railgun, Burst Cannons, Multitracker, Decoy Launchers, Target Lock
STRATEGEMS: Infiltrate, Rapelling Lines
1 Farseer w/Jetbike, Doom, Singing Spear
8 Striking Scorpions w/Exarch (Stalker, Scorpion's Claw)
8 Warp Spiders w/Exarch (Dual Spinners, Deep Strike thingy)
10 Dire Avengers w/Exarch (Dual Catapults, Bladestorm)
in Waveserpent w/TL Scatter Lasers, Shuricannon, Spirit Stones, Vectored Engines
STRATEGEMS: Master Snipers, Deep Strike
Terrain and Deployment
The 4' by 4' board consisted of the 2-story Office Building in the south quadrant, the 4-story dual apartment complex in the west quadrant, bordering the south and north quadrants, and, just to the northwest of the office building, the 3-story apartments went there, with an adjoining wall that extended along most of the border between the east and north quadrants. Finally, the city park was nearly at the center of the board and encroaching into the north, and the restaurant occupied the north quadrant. About all that was left were a small shed (which played no part in the game), a pile of rocks and debris with sat along the northwestern edge of the board, and a large crater placed midway between the wall coming from the apartment building and the restaurant in the north.
I won deployment, and picked the south quadrant to defend, as it put me in closer proximity to the two apartment buildings and put the two story offices in my camp, already. Having a pretty sizeable force, it was a squeeze to get it all in the zone. The Vespid took up positions along the second and first stories of the office building on the NW side, while the commander and crisis suits nestled at the center of the building. A lone pirhana was placed behind them in the south corner of the building, with the other two pirhana going just outside the building on the SW side. Finally, the Hammerhead and Devilfish (loaded with FWs) deployed cheek-and-jowl on the SE east side. Later, the Kroot infiltrated onto the first and second floors of the 3-story apartment building in the east quadrant.
With far less to throw down, Fraley's deployment went quickly. One squad of snipers went in the restaurant, near the southern corner, while the Farseer and the Waveserpent (along with Dire Avengers) deployed deeper inside the building. The second group of snipers crowded into the crater nearby, and the scorpions deployed in the rocks and debris that hugged the NW side of the table. The Warp Spiders were held in reserve, to deep strike in later.
The Tau Parking Lot
The Eldar Zone
For the first time in I can't remember how long, I won first turn for the second time straight. Woo-hoo! My general plan was working under the assumption (and a fair assumption, I think) that the Dire Avengers and their Wave Serpent constituted the biggest threat to my army. Accordingly, the Piranha were tasked to scoot up the flank and possibly get some good rear-armor hits on the Serpent while the Crisis Suits and Hammerhead knocked it around with their guns. In the meantime, I would use the Kroot, Firewarriors, and Vespid to nail-down objectives, while my Commander killed anything with an armor save that got in range.
So, both the Devilfish and Hammerhead moved up the SE side of the board, keeping themselves concealed from the snipers thanks to apartment building full of Kroot. The Kroot, meanwhile, climbed to the second and third stories of the aforementioned building to get a bead on the Eldar hunkered in the crater and restaurant and such. The Crisis Suits jumped into the street behind that building, while the Commander and the Vespid jumped into the upper floors of the dual apartments to my NW. Finally, in accordance with the plan, the two Piranha zoomed 24" into the western quadrant, while the lone pirhana shot 24" into the east. This, I felt, would successfully inhibit the Waveserpent's movement so as to delay a possible bladestorming by a turn or so.
In Fraley's turn, I learned pretty hard just how dangerous the combination of Doom, Master Snipers, and Pathfinders is to poor, unarmored Kroot. Five of the poor aboriginal bastards bit the dust to those attacks. Then, the Waveserpent (along with the Farseer) cautiously scooted out of the restaurant to rest just north of the crater, firing its weapons at the Kroot as well, killing another one. Finally, the Scorpions crept closer to my lines by climbing deeper into the cover of the rocky ridges in the northwest.
There used to be Kroot here...
Accepting the Kroot as pretty well screwed, I left them where they were to take potshots at the Pathfinders in the crater, scoring 6 hits (on 6 shots!), and managing to kill one. The lone Piranha also shot around the corner of the wall along the NE edge of the board and fired at the crater pathfinders, too, but didn't manage to do any damage. In the western quadrant, the Vespid stayed put in their building, but my commander leapt out to give the Scorpions a pretty nasty lash of plasma and ion particles, killing 4 despite thier cover saves (let's hear it for the CIB!), he then jumped back towards the apartments to keep the Vespid and Piranha as closer targets. The twin Piranha fired on the Scorpions, too, but fared less well, killing only one, but that one, due to range and LOS, had to be the Exarch, so down he went. Finally, in the main event, the Crisis Suits and the Hammerhead all pummeled the Wave Serpent with a solid slug railgun and lots of missiles, scoring 4 glancing hits total. The missiles took off the scatter lasers and shook it a few times, but the railgun managed to immobilize it...and then watched in annoyance as it floated to the ground on a cushion of air.
In Fraley's turn, the hobbled Scorpions, having fogotten everything the exarch told them about moving through cover, fumbled in the terrain and remained bogged down. The Dire Avengers, now without a ride, gathered outside the transport, trying to distribute themselves as far as possible from each other, and then proceeded to annihilate the poor Kroot (who had been Doomed again) in a storm of pointy blades. It is at this point that I accused the Eldar of being racist against carnivorous aliens, and my opponent pointed out that I hadn't provided him with much else to shoot at that he could possibly harm. I conceded the point until, a moment later, he put a singing spear through the front armor of my lone Piranha, destroying it and leaving a single drone alive in the wreckage. The Pathfinders, now without a juicy, Kroot-like target to blast, took potshots at the twin Piranha's approaching from the SW, but failed to damage their front armor. Finally (or, firstly, I suppose, since they showed up first), Fraley had the Warp Spiders teleport in. He wanted them to show up just behind the Hammerhead in the hopes of blowing it up this turn, but scattered a whopping 12" due south so that they wound up clustered behind the southernmost corner of the office building in my deployment zone. Now hopelessly out of range, they awaited my swift and brutal vengance.
The Warp Spider Exarch loses his 'Safe Teleporter' badge.
In my turn, the Devilfish (which had swung behind the wall in the eastern quadrant last turn) disembarked its drones and moved only enough to gain 'skimmers moving fast' protection, as I wanted the perfect moment to drop the FWs on the Dire Avengers and blast them to smithereens. The Devilfish drones moved and assaulted the Pathfinders in the crater, killing 2 and losing none. They then ran down the snipers, and consolidated into the Farseer himself. The Hammerhead, meanwhile, laid a submunition round and some burst fire on the Dire Avengers, killing about half of them (I think). The twin Pirhana, meanwhile, advanced on the restaurant, but not before dropping off their drones to harry the injured Scorpions, who lost another one to pulse carbine fire. The Pirhanas shot at the Pathfinders in the building, but didn't hurt any of them.
Finally, the remainder of my firepower was devoted to blowing up the Warp Spiders. The Vespid moved in to intercept from their building, along with the Commander and the Crisis Suits. 6 Missiles, 6 Neutron Blasters, 1 Plasma Shot, and 5 Ion Blasts later and I only manged to kill 4 of the 8. Decent, but pretty much unacceptable given the number of low-AP shots I was tossing. Still, it was enough to break them, and the Warp Spiders fled in the direction of their quadrant. This, unfortunately for me, would take them past the rear armor of the Hammerhead, after all. There's irony for ya....
Drones kick Eldar butt!
In Fraley's half of the turn, he used the Shuricannon on the Waveserpent to blow up one of the two piranha left. The snipers, meanwhile kept shooting at things and doing nothing, while the Farseer doomed the drones assaulting the crater, for all the good it did him. On a brighter note, the Farseer quickly and easily killed one drone and chased off another, which just kept running the rest of the game. Meanwhile, wanting desperately to get locked in assault and avoid more hammerhead-themed pain, the Avengers assaulted the lone drone from the wrecked pirhana in the east. Unfortunately, this drone was not quite as tough, and died where it stood (er, floated?), leaving the Avengers again flat-footed and right where I wanted them.
Elsewhere, the fleeing Warp Spiders, as they fled, shot up the back of my Hammerhead, stunning it but causing no further damage. Furthermore, the sneaky Scorpions climbed out of the rubble in time to ambush one of the Piranha from behind. In a cavalcade of sixes, they managed a damaging hit that destroyed the vehicle outright. This cued a number of imagined anime-esque montages as Scorpions flew through the air to behead piranha pilots moving at top speed.
The Scorpions prepare their ambush...
In turn 4, I had some cleaning up to do regarding enemy troops in my backfield. First up, the Vespid flew to the northern corner of office building and shot down another 2 Warp Spiders. Meanwhile, the Commander jumped over the dual apartments again to obliterate the last two scorpions. To round out the hat-trick of clean-up duty, the Crisis suits leapt out and blasted the crippled Wave Serpent out of this world. That finished, I moved onto the important work: the Dire Avengers. Having witnessed the Eldar's needlessly brutal assault on the innocent gun drone caught up in the wreckage of the Pirhana, the firewarriors were angry. The devilfish flew over the wall and dropped all of them right behind the eldar aspects. With cries of 'They killed twonky!' and 'Hey, that drone owed me money!', the FWs dropped 20 pulse rifle shots into the Avengers, quickly wiping them from the face of the board.
Finally, the remaining 4 drones from the twin pirhana advanced on the restaurant housing the last Eldar scoring unit--the Pathfinders.
Traffic Jam in the Northern Quadrant
In Fraley's end of the turn, it started with the Warp Spiders running a measly few inches, allowing them more shots at the Hammerhead's rear. They scored an immobilizing hit, and I opted *not* to re-roll with the decoy launchers. Since it was stationary anyway, and I wanted to get a shot off next turn, I figured it was a decent option. Unfotunately for me, the Farseer put an end to the Hammerhead with a well-aimed Singing Spear. The Farseer also Doomed my last four drones, but for little result, as the Pathfinder's long rifles couldn't penetrate their armor.
With not much between me and victory, and my losses acceptable to this point, it was claiming objective time. The Crisis Suits walked into the 3-story tomb of the Kroot, while the Vespid stayed put and blasted another 2 Warp Spiders, claiming the office building. The drones, still advancing on the Pathfinders, picked one off with carbine fire, knocking the unit below scoring. With the drones now in assault range and the Firewarriors moving into rapid fire range, Fraley chose discretion as the better part of valor, and conceded. He saved several Eldar lives, but lost the game.
The Tau accept Eldar Surrender
Tau: 2 Objectives (~750 VPs)
Eldar: 0 Objectives (~350 VPs)
Well, that went smoothly. About the only turn of back luck I had was with the Warp Spiders--first for not knocking them down to one or two models automatically, and second for their route of retreat being right behind their intended target, resulting in that target's eventual destruction. I probably shouldn't have cruised past the Scorpions with the Piranha, exposing their rear armor to assault, but I did think the odds of them harming them would be terribly high. Furthermore, their assault on the Pirhana meant they weren't locked in combat, meaning that the Commander could make short work of them next turn.
The biggest thing that worked for me was winning the deployment and first turn rolls. Because of that, I got the quarter of the board closest to the most objectives and also the most immune to the mostly static firepower of Fraley's forces. The first turn also let me 'claim territory' with my very mobile forces, limiting his own ability to maneuver with his very dangerous Wave Serpent and bladestorming cargo.
My opponent (and myself) decided that Pathfinders and Scorpions really don't do him any favors against the Tau. They are too slow or too static, and any sufficient amount of cover means their effectiveness can be quickly curtailed by a mobile Tau force. I barely presented him with any targets beyond drones and Kroot, and the end result is much of his power was wasted in the early turns. Finally, luck played a bit of a factor here--he caught a bad scatter with his Warp Spiders, and paid for it. Also, the Scorpions had a rough time with their cover saves in Turn 2.
Overall, though, it was a good game and I had fun. Thanks, as always, to my opponent!