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

This game wound up being a 3000 pt. 2v3 with the teams randomly matched.

THE OPPONENTS: Drop Guard, Chaos, Space Marines

10 squads of imperial guard infantry, half of which deepstruck, all with carapace

4 MEq squads, one was Khorne Berserkers

2x devestator squads

1 assault squad

1 squad of CSM terminators (deepstrike)

1 defiler

Sorcerer with lash

THE DEFENDERS: Tau and Imperial Guard

I brought list 3g.

He brought:

3x firewarrior squads

3 mobs of suits

Stealth suits

2x hammerheads and broadsides

Piranha

Drones

The Tau CC special character

The mission was cleanse on gamma. They won for sides and deployment, while we won for first turn. At deployment, the field looked like this:

Well, basically the plan was this. I was going to act as a screen for my partner's tau units in the middle, and to sweep with my forces to the upper left quadrant. Meanwhile, he would use his MSM ability to maximum effect in the cover-laden right side. If things went well, we'd do a pincer move onto this devastators.

TURN 1

Melchoir looked around nervously.

He wasn't sure if it was the sorcerer which had taken a large group of imperial forces into it's maddening grip, or if it was the tau forces that now surrounded him. He'd had run-ins with this cadre before, and not every time was he on the safe side of their guns.

In any case, the trap had been set. It seemed that the sorcerer, in his hubris, decided to simply walk into it.

We start the game basically in the way described above; things moving into place.

In shooting, my ally makes it his first perogitive to kill the defiler, which he manages to do with his first railgun hit. The other railgun went into submunitioning the guard out in the open. Said guard were then let into by 6 burst cannons. Needless to say, they didn't fare so well.

My basilisk then elevated and fired, scattering 4" away. Given the giant mob of MEq's on the right, the shot unsurprisingly still made 6 hits out of it. FOUR of the hits fail to wound...

At least one of the marine squads failed it's pinning check.

Other than that, assorted fire managed to off a couple of berzerkers.

After this point, the field looked like this:

Melchoir watched on in awe as a tide of enraged space marines started to pour forward into the gap.

"Everyone, keep firing!" He shouted as the officer started to run through scenarios in his mind.

In their turn, they basically move everyone straight forwards.

Unfortunately for them, the same cover that blocked a lot of our units from shooting at him in the first place blocked them from shooting at us. In the end, their guns are mostly silent.

They do, however, manage to get a unit in assault with my platoon HQ. Fortunately (or unfortunately), they can only attack my junior officer (the only one in assault range), who is clubbed down. The rest of the marines consolidate as best as they can without getting into a combat with my other squad.

After this point the field looked like this:

TURN 2

"Melchoir," came a voice over the vox, "the Tau commander is signaling an attack."

"Very good," the officer replied, "All units, engage enemy forces!"

The imperial and Tau forces started their advance:

In our turn, everything advances other than my leman russ and my infantry squad near to the close combat.

In shooting, my battlecannon starts by scattering 6" into nothing (you notice that this tank is actually less accurate when it doesn't move?). My earthshaker cannon, on the other hand, scored a hit. This time, for the first time in a long time, the dice appeared somewhat normal. Of my 9 hits, only 2 of them failed to wound. This, combined with some tau gunfire, wiped away the assault squad.

Shooting continued with my partner's suits MSMing the berzerkers into nothing, and doing the same with his stealth suits, killing a bunch more guys. A submunition hit further decimated the guard out in the open.

In close combat, the tau special character charged in, but wasn't able to kill any marines. Likewise, my dudes didn't hurt anyone for a kill in return. As our side lost the combat, my remaining forces decided to run away. His special character decides to hit and run.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In their turn, we started by resolving some morale checks from the previous turn, involving two of the guard squads out in the open running off the table (there had actually been failed morale in the previous turn as well).

Of their 6 units in reserve, two of them make it in: a group of imperial guard on the right, and the squad of terminators that ALMOST deepstruck off the table on the left (3 survived). Meanwhile, the remnants of their forces continue to drive forwards.

In shooting he shot his terminators at my basilisk (after much convincing from everyone at the table), blowing the vehicle up with an autocannon. On the right, their deepstriking units kill off a suit, while a devastator kills a firewarrior with a frag missile.

In assault, the marines that had already been in close combat truck off towards the drones, I'm sure taking down at least a couple.

After this point, the field looked like this:

After this point, a couple of the players' parents came by to pick them up (we'd started late). Given that we had basically run the other army over without casualty, and that the only reinforcements would be piecemeal deepstriking guard units, I've no doubt that there was any way that the opposing team could have prevented some sort of victory by our side.

- It has been growing ever clearer to me that if you're going to assault, you need to have speed. Period. There is absolutely no reason to move a unit that you want to get into close combat forwards if they don't have some way to reliably do it by (if not before) turn 3. I could see moving shooty units up without transports (as you'd only ever need to move them halfway up the field), but still...

- Never leave your guardsmen out of cover. There are times when limited exposure is necessary, true, but spending more than one turn out in the open is absolute madness, carapace or not.

- Same goes for marines, for that matter. I'm beginning to notice that, apart from whether they take uber-units or not, what seems to separate the good players from the worse players is how effectively they use cover.

MVP: Hard to pick a single one, given that destruction came through combined firepower. That being said, I'll go for the basilisk which basically neutralized one of the most threatening units (the assault marines), while keeping a group of marines pinned for what would wind up being half the game.

Hero of the Game: I'm actually going to have to say no one for this game. Everyone who could, ran away like a pansy from close combat, and the only units that did some serious advancing were ones where there was no one in their way.

"What are you doing?"

Melchoir looked up from his paperwork and glanced up at the priest.

"So, I've been noticing lately that our tanks aren't doing so great."

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah. The shots aren't hitting accurately at all, and it almost seems like the shells are only getting half-packed with explosives."

"Huh," Sanario replied as he pulled out a small comb and started running it through his moustache.

"Yeah. So I'm thinking about getting rid of the vehicles alltogether."

Sanario gave a half smile. "So, I suppose you won't be running a mobile infantry detachment any more."

Melcoir shook his head. Sanario saying "mobile infantry" made him think of when he was first attached to his detachment.

"Emperor, blessings be," Melchoir mumbled.

"What?"

"Do you know that it's been almost a year now since I've been with this group of soldiers?"

"Huh," Sanario replied, putting his comb away, "I suppose it's been awhile for me now as well, now that you mention it."

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this game, despite it's brevity. Stay tuned for the last game in set four!