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

Here it is, the last game at 750 pts. for my escalation league. We're back up to 1000 next time.


HQ crisis suit with missile pods, plasma gun

2 Crisis suits with missile pods, plasma gun

2 railgun broadsides

4-suit stealth team (bonded)

10-fish firewarrior squad

Devilfish with burst cannon, smart missile system

THE DEFENDER: Do you still say "incoming" if it's outgoing?

S.O. with fist, priest with eviscerator, standard

3x plasma vet squad

J.O. with stormbolter, 2x grenade launchers

3x mortar support squad

2x infantry squads with mortars

2x lascannon sentinels

The mission was cleanse on gamma. He got the roll for sides and deployment, I got the roll for first turn and infiltrators.

At deployment, the field looked like this:

So firstly, I didn't expect the mission to be played by quarters, and secondly, I didn't expect not to get to pick my side. Thus, I was put into a very awkward position, needing to hide a majority of my army behind a single building.

My plan for this would be to try and do an early strike to get rid of key targets, and then try and do my best to shell my opponents forces into the earth. Here's hoping. At least I got first turn.


Melchoir looked down at the poor quality photograph in his hand:

"Felix Praccos Archerion, Zonhaim Lord," he thought to himself as he walked, looking at the picture. He heard footsteps in front of him. The officer looked up.

"Greetings, Marshal Theleos. I am Felix Praccos Archerion, Lord of the Zonhaim" came a raspy voice, mechanically altered through his plasma mask. Or maybe that was his real voice...

"Yes, hello Lord Archerion," Melchoir replied, "I never got a chance to thank you... for the dark eldar... thing."

"It is my sworn duty to defend the army of Folera. You are no exception."

Melchoir could feel a shiver up his spine. This Zonhaim guy was creepy.

"Well, what we're doing here -"

"Tau ambush!" came a shout over the vox net.

"Everybody, get ready, open fire!" Melchoir shouted frantically through the vox.

"Felix," the officer said turning towards the Zonhaim lord, "I need you to-"

Felix had already completely disappeared.

Turn 1 was going to have to be strong for me, and I knew it. With the terrain leaving me unable to properly hide my sentinels (especially against the dangerously close stealth team), I start by charging them forwards. If I can get them locked into close combat, hopefully I can at least temporarily neutralize my right flank.

Movement continues with my vets popping out from behind the trees, ready to nail a suit.

Now, it was time for the money shot. I fired my basilisk at the devilfish full of firewarriors and HIT. The shot easily penetrates, but, unfortunately, rather than leaving only a smoking pile of rubble, I only manage to knock off a weapon, and force the firewarriors to get out. At least I was able to get rid of his smart missiles, as I would be damned if tau would beat me in indirect fire with a list like mine.

Shooting continues with me nailing a stealth suit with a lascannon. On the other side, though one of my plasma guns is tragically out of range, the two remaining ones score a pair of wounds on the nearby hammerhead, sending it out of commission, and, of course, losing a vet to an overheat in the process...

My volley of mortars then targets his nicely clustered firewarriors, but most of them miss. The one that did hit managed to kill a couple, but the firewarriors passed their pinning check.

In assault, one of my two sentinels manages to make it into close combat. His suits do nothing to my sentinel. My sentinel, in return, kills one of the suits! Outnumbered 2:1, the suits fail their leadership. I don't manage to catch them, and despite running 3D6, the suits somehow manage to stay on the board.

After this point, the field looked like this:

Now it was his turn to retaliate.

He began by moving all of his suits out into the open towards me. His stealth suits managed to rally. This was going to be bad...

In shooting, he shot his firewarriors at my veterans (we assumed that as the devilfish didn't move, and was not wrecked, that the firewarriors didn't need to make a test for entanglement) which was supported by a crisis suit.

Having done his job, Lord Archerion, the sole survivor of the onslaught, decides to live again to fight another day.

Meanwhile, the suits blast apart one of my sentinels, as feared, and the broadside up on the parapets makes short work of the other. Crap.

After this point, the field looked like this:


With my forward forces gone, it was now time to get settled in for the siege.

"Keep firing men!" Melchoir shouted to the troops gathered around him.

"Felix!" the officer shouted into the vox. He wasn't met with a reply.

"What happened to our forward guard?"

Shooting begins with my basilisk scattering far away from his devilfish.

My triple mortar team, on the other hand, managed a hit with its ranging shot, taking a few firewarriors down. My other two mortars don't do anything.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In his turn, he fans out his forces more, getting ready to pounce on my weakened right flank.

As well, he mounted his firewarriors (who had again passed their pinning test) into his devilfish. The fish of fury had begun...

Thankfully, he wasn't in LOS of anything (yay for being out of LOS!), ending his turn without much ado.

After this point, the field looked like this:


"Melchoir!" came the voice of Melchoir's junior officer, "Tau approaching hard from the right. I'm going to take them out."

The platoon command squad charged out of the bushes.

Sanario began reciting a prayer of protection.

With his suits closing in on my right, I knew that they would be toast. I decide to start the turn by running them up into the bushes and unloading.

I was able to hit with pretty much everything, and the nearby crisis suit took a wound from a grenade launcher.

Meanwhile, my basilisk shot at the suit that was way over to my left behind the trees that the vet had been in, but scattered off the table. My mortars, on the other hand, were far more accurate. My 3x barrage, and one of the singles landed right on top of his crisis suit commander (I didn't want to attack the stealth suits because of the increased scatter). Both the stealth suits, who were hit by the barrage, and the commander made most of their armor saves, but one shot did manage to make it through, putting a wound on the commander, who passes his pinning test.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In his turn, he moved his forces in for the kill.

He starts by making an absolute mess of my platoon HQ, which couldn't make a single cover save. The turn continues with his firewarriors piling out of the devilfish for the fish of fury. Thankfully, I had halved the number of angry fish piling out of the transport, so while one of my squads took heavy casualties, it wasn't wiped out and, thanks to the standard reroll, was able to stick around.

After this point, the field looked like this:


"Men, it is in this dark hour that we prove our finest!" the priest shouted "Come without fear, men of Folera, and CHARGE!"

Now it was time for the last of my mobile units to do anything: my command squad. The unit charged his devilfish.

In shooting, I decided to target his devilfish with my basilisk. Even though it was under SMF, I knew that I needed to not have a burst cannon flying around on a vehicle as fast and agile as a devilfish.

As I was in LOS, I thankfully scattered only 1". The shot easily glanced the side of the devilfish and ended up with a "armament destroyed" result. Oh, and one firewarrior got pasted.

Then my mortars fired again, once again using the crisis suit commander as the anchor point. Though I wasn't able to kill the crisis suit, I was able to kill a stealth suit member. The squad passed its pinning test.

In assault, I naturally made kipper snack out of his firewarriors, and then retreated back towards my wall.

After this point, the field looked like this:

His turn begins with his stealth suit passing its last man standing test.

In movement, he starts by limping the now 100% useless devilfish away. The suits proceed to advance, trying to get something off against the basilisk.

In shooting, his injured crisis suit takes a couple of my command squad down, while the rest of his army piles shots onto the basilisk. In the end, the result is a single penetrating hit, which causes a "armament destroyed + crew stunned." result.

The suits all fly back away to their positions of safety.

After this point, the field looked like this:


In my turn, my command squad retreats to behind the wall.

All of my weapons miss their targets.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In retaliation, the tau player plays his dance of death, landing a "immobilized + crew stunned" from a penetration.

After this point, the field looked like this:


In my turn, I put up my final bombardment. In the end, only one mortar hits, which the crisis suit I shot it against passed his armor save against.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In his turn, his stealth suit finally failed its last man standing test and started to scoot towards the back of the board. Meanwhile the crisis suit on the left scoots back to claim the table quarter.

In shooting, his crisis suits manage to wipe my 3x mortar squad and, after all this time, the basilisk finally goes down.

After this point, the field looked like this:


I had a command squad, a half strength infantry squad and a full strength infantry squad for a total of 256 pts. He had a broadside, a crisis suit, a devilfish, half a crisis suit, and half a crisis suit commander, along with a table quarter, for a total of 561 pts. for a -305 in his favor for a "crushing defeat".

A few things:

- So, I've been tinkering around with a few ideas recently. One of which was the realization that mortars are about as good at killing space marines as missile launchers. The same goes for grenade launchers and meltaguns. The only glitch to this is that the other two types of weapons can instant kill T4 units. Of course, none of this would have been a problem, unless I was facing off against a suit-o-rific tau army. Oh...

Basically, Tau crisis suits, the thing that I loathed so much that it caused me to play guard when I returned to 40k in the first place has beat me, yet again. From this point, I'm going to have to make my list with the sole purpose of killing tau suits, as they've been responsible for many TIMES my losses than space marines, or other usually scary foes.

- This was an interesting game in that it was the first time ever that I found myself without the weapons required to take down my enemy. The last couple of turns I had literally nothing that I could use to do any credible amount of damage to anything in his army. At least against TMC's I'll still have something that might, possibly, do some damage. Not so this time.

- As well, this was a tricky one as I basically didn't have any terrain this game. At least I wasn't forced to deploy on the lower left hand corner of the board, or it could have been an even bigger catastrophe, I think. I think I might have to transition more towards things that will have to be in terrain, rather than behind it, in order to clear up a little bit of space.

"We're getting reinforcements," Sanario said, plopping a manilla folder on the desk.

"Thank the Emperor," Melchoir replied.

"No, thank the king."

Melchoir shot the priest a half-smile before returning to his work.

"What are you working on?"

"My notes from the battle. We can't learn without thought, I always say."

"Huh," the priest replied. "What do you think happened to Felix?" he asked as he walked out the door.

"I don't know. I'm sure we'll see him somewhere"