discuss this article

This is a part of the author's "Public Game" series. To view other battle reports in the series, click here.

As there weren't enough people in the game store to warrant continuing our escalation league (due to Halloween). The four of us who showed up decided to take our 750 pt. lists and combine them.

THE CHALLENGERS: The original odd couple

TAU

3 crisis suits (with plasma, missiles, shield drone)
2 broadsided (with railguns, missiles, shield drone)
2 6-fish firewarrior squads
3-suit stealth team

TYRANID:

20-bug geanstealer mob with broodlord
2 lictors
3 spore mines

THE DEFENDERS: I'll be the hammer, you be the anvil, okay?

IMPERIAL GUARD

Plasma vet squad
Priest + fist command squad
Infantry platoon with three mortars
3x mortar heavy weapons squad
basilisk
2x lascannon sentinels

IMPERIAL GUARD

Infantry platoon with grenade launchers, missile launchers
- platoon HQ with lasguns.
3x heavy bolter heavy weapons squad
2 autocannon sentinels
basilisk

The mission was secure and control on gamma.

We won for infiltrators and first turn, they won for terrain, sides, and deployment.

At deployment, the field looked like this:

To view a hi-res copy, click here.

GENESEALERS! RUN!!!

Yes, we had an open flank, yes, we had a LOT of genestealers suddenly on that open flank. The whole plan would hinge around being able to successfully neutralize the horrific threat on our right. After that, hopefully we could take care of the suits. The only one, gaping problem, is that we were packed in so tight, that we didn't have good firing lanes across our own back.

TURN 1

Melchoir peered through his magnoculars.

He had been teamed up with another infantry company, and sent out to hold one side of the courtyard. If there were no threats, he was to advance to the other side. The officer slowly swept the buildings on the other side for enemy soldiers.

"Genestealers!!" came a half shout, half scream over the vox set.

"Open fire!" Melchoir shouted, even before being able to drop his magnoculars.

Well, here we go. At least we've got a lot of indirect fire stuff on the board. With nothing really to move (other than my infiltration-denying vets back into the building), we decide to get on with it, and open fire.

I start with my basilisk shell which hits, taking out a couple of genestealers, and, most importantly, a pair of stealth suits (heh). My partner shoots his and scatters, but not very far, taking out another slough of genestealers. The mortars then chimed in, taking out a couple more.

After this point, the field looked like this:

Knowing that we're not packing a lot of direct firepower, my opponents start by moving their suits out, along with the genestealers in. The lone stealth suit failed his last man standing test and got the heck off the board.

In shooting, they manage to off a lascannon sentinel (which explodes, killing like 5 of my guys (ouch!), and a autocannon sentinel, along with a few guys in the towers and from the heavy bolter teams.

"Melchoir! We've got incoming Tau suits!"

"What?" Melchoir shouted back. What part of the greater good was this?

After this point, the field looked like this:

TURN 2

With his suits out in the open, I decide to pop out with my sentinel and bag me a suit. As well, my partner's platoon HQ moves back a bit to get LOS on something.

In shooting, we again try to blast the genestealers to nothing. Unfortunately, the mob size and our accuracy both went down, causing one of the basilisk shots to wind up hitting nowhere. After all the barraging, however, we did manage to down a fair number of stealers.

My partner was then able to kill off a couple of shield drones, but I wasn't able to follow it up with a lascannon hit.

After this point, the field looked like this:

"Melchoir!" came another frantic voice over the vox set, "It's lictors! Help!"

"What?" Melchoir shouted again.

"You have got to be kidding me!" the officer thought to himself. He wondered if, perhaps, in another couple of seconds he would need to worry about being hit by an orbital bombardment. His brief moment of thought was disturbed by het another scream on his vox.

"Aaaah! Melchoir! It's spore mines!"

So their turn begins with the tyranid player making all of his reserves rolls, popping in a pair of lictors along with all of his spore mines.

In further movement, he moves his suits up more, and charges in their genestealers, getting them uncomfortably too close... for comfort...

In shooting, they are able to kill the other autocannon sentinel, and stun the last lascannon one. A shot gets over the rubble of a dead sentinel and manages to nail by basilisk, wrecking it. A few more tau shots kill a few more dudes up in one of the towers.

In assault, his lictor in the center manages to scale up the tower into assault, but the one on the right can't seem to roll a 6 on 6 dice this turn, keeping him on the ground. As well, his big pile of genestealers hops over the rubble to get at me. Thanks to the cover, I get to go first, and put a wound on his broodlord. His genestealers proceed to wipe the squad.

Meanwhile, his lictor that got into close combat killed a guardsman, but not after loosing a wound itself.

After this point, the field looked like this:

TURN 3

In our turn, we've got little to do other than to hold onto your butts and keep shooting (with our non-butt-holding hands).

Shooting begins with the remaining basilisk hitting dead on, killing all of the remaining genestealers straight away (whew). In the rest of shooting, I manage to kill a few firewarriors with my mortars, but nothing else of ours is able to hit.

In the close combat with the lictor , neither side manages to score a wound.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In their turn, they start by all of the spore mines going crazy and running into stuff, finishing off the heavy bolter team in the woods. The rest of their stuff moved in.

In shooting, the tau finally manage to shoot the guard squad off the tower, as well as to finish off the last sentinel.

In assault, his much enraged broodlord makes it into combat, thrashing my partner's platoon HQ squad. It decides to stay in combat, though.

Meanwhile, the lictor continues his struggle against the guardsmen in the other tower, killing two, but then falling to the hedge of bayonets.

After this point, the field looked like this:

Unfortunately, at this point, the tyranid and other imparial guard players' dad showed up and picked them up.

FINAL RESULTS

It was really hard to call this one as the both sides had killed roughly as much as each other. As well, given that we didn't know that the game was going to end so soon, I decided not to count objectives. In the end, we called it a draw.

A few things:

- I know it's Holloween and all, but what's so scary about spooks? They weren't even able to kill a squad of guardsmen.

- The genestealer bum rush was definitely scary. I'm not sure that it was entirely the best placement, but given that I had my veterans up front for infiltration denial, it might have been better in the end. In any case, if I ever start a tyranid army, I will definitely consider taking a couple of genestealer mobs...

- Note as well, that if you have a unit that is difficult for indirect fire to hit, don't place them next to units that it is easy for indirect fire to hit.

- So I took a lot of indirect fire because I was upset with my enemy's move-shoot-mover's being able to ignore my guns. I think what irritates me more is when they don't have to MSM, just strutting out into the open. Maybe it's time to get some missile launchers into my line squads...

MVP: In this game, the basilisks really had a chance to shine, taking out many times their points, as well as alleviating a potential tactical crisis in the works. Good job, guys

Hero of the Game: I'd feel bad if I didn't give it to the guard squad in the left tower. First they get shot at by tau, then they get spore mines dropped around them, then they get charged by a lictor. They were able to take all of these in stride, being cool headed enough to even take down the big bug.

"Do you see anything?" The priest asked.

"No."

"So... why don't we-"

"No."

"Oh, come on Melchoir, now-"

"No."

"Don't you know that this constitutes a-"

"No."

Sanario sighed.

"Well, what if I got you some reinforcements and something from the field kitchen?"

Melchoir paused, still looking through his magnoculars. Okay, fine, but only if they have roast beef.

"Then we'll attack?"

"I'll think about it."