This is my 3rd battle report, but sadly my last one took so long to write that I got logged out before posting it and lost it all! Darn! I'll try to be more succinct.
My Eldar friend wanted to play my new(ish) Tau again, since our last battle did not go well thanks to some rule confusion (aka, he didn't know how psykers worked and cast Invisibility on everything and I didn't know better to stop it).
He wanted to play with some new units, so he built an Unbound army at 1850 just to mess around:
Warlord: Jain the Probably-Not-A-Virgin, Stabber of all the Things
One full unit of Howling Banshees
Feugan the Wound Eater
One full unit of Fire Dragons
One full unit of Warp Spiders
One Fire Prism
One full unit of Jetbikes
One full unit of artillery armed with vibro cannons
One full unit of Forge World Shadow Spectres, complete with exarch
Iliryth, The Shadow Spectre Phoenix Lord
1 unit of 3 Vyndow Vypers
I snagged my latest creation to mess around with:
Warlord Ra'lai, Grumpy Grandpa of the Tau Empire
2 mini-units of Fire Warriors with DS8 turrets
1 Tidewall Gunfort
Coldstar Commander with Shield and Stims
Riptide with Ion, drones, and stims
2 units of breachers
1 unit of fire warriors with DS8
1 unit of Pathfinders, with 'ui, 2 marker drones, 3 railgunners, and a pulse accelerator
3 units of sniper drones (3 drones, 1 marksman)
Optimized Stealth Cadre:
2 units of Stealth Suits
1 Ghostkeel with Ion Raker and flamers
We rolled for everything, and I ended up going first for the Maelstrom Lost Contact mission. This is the one where you generate tactical objectives based off the number of markers you have available.
I won't go into the tac objectives, though, as my friend conceded during the middle of my second turn. Yes, it went that poorly for him.
Warlord Ra'lai is riding the lead Gunrig. Two sniper teams are in the other Gunrigs. Everyone else is spread around my zone.
My forces move up. Pathfinders take a tower I had next to my zone (there were 4 on the board - probably need more LoS blocking terrain in the future). They light up the fire prism with markerlights (5 on snapshot, 2 BS from the drones - still manage to get the 2 I needed), while the 3 railgunners manage to pop some hits on the hull - one glancing.
My dice are on fire this game.
Next, All 3 railguns from the Gunfort use the 2 markerlights and fire 3 BS5 TL S10/AP1 Armorbane into the non-jinking Fire Prism. It vanishes from the board.
Two units of my fire warriors take some potshots at the howling banshees - I manage to snag one.
Riptide overcharges its ion cannon and attempts to blast the artillery - but I roll a 1 on Gets Hot and the shot fails. Wah-Wah.
One unit of snipers pings off a jetbike.
OSCadre opens up on the Vypers. At BS5, the vast majority of the shots melt through the poor Vypers and they all vanish.
Coldstar Commander takes a few shots at spiders, but rolls poorly and doesn't get anything.
End of Tau Turn 1.
Everything moves up. Man, Battlefocus is so cool.
Artillery vamps up and fires at my Riptide, taking out a drone. Shadow Spectres Ghostlight and take out the other drone (yes, I was using ablative drone shields. Sue me). Warp Spiders flicker forward and open up on my Riptide. Its mighty I2 does little to help against those stupid whatchamacallits. After borking my 3++ save and 5+ FNP, I take two wounds on the Riptide.
Fire Dragons, Jetbikes, and Banshees move up. The bikes fire at the Riptide as well, but the rolls are awful, and no wounds are scored.
End of Eldar Turn 1.
The OScadre completely wipes the shadow spectres and Iliryth off the board. 24 BS5 burst cannon shots and 6 Ion rakers all found a home, and all found a wound. Eldar are rather fragile.
The Coldstar flies behind the jetbikes and manages to DO NOTHING. He was not my viking this game. Next time!
Two breacher teams and one fire warrior team team up against the spiders. They warp out of the 3" range of my breachers (maaan), but this doesn't help help - my friend can't get a 3+ save to work for him, and they all get picked off.
My Gunfort submunitions his Howling banshees, removing 4. Ra'lai high-density shots at the now vulnerable Jain - rolling a 1 for Gets Hot, but the Gunrig saves him with a rerolled 6. Woot. Jain fails a LOS! and goes.
At this point, my friend calls it - he's managed to kill two drones, and he's pretty sure I'm about to finish off the rest of his forces. I'm okay with this - we were both playing around with new ideas and wanted to see how they worked out. Next time he'll have some Wraithknights built and he'll swap in his psykers again.
Regardless, my Tau performed awesomely. The Gunfort/Ra'lai combo is pretty amazing - I highly recommend folks try it out with some Sniper Drones. Ra'lai's marker drone can fire the TL gun at BS5, while the marksmen can take the guns in the other rigs. 3 TL BS5 10/AP1 shots are pretty awesome.