In the distance, he spotted their primary target. A massive construct, bristling with the finest Tau weaponry ever created: the KV-128 Stormsurge. It felt strange to be targeting a Tau ballistic suit, but Sha'is'Nen was a firm believer in knowing your own weaknesses. He would test this new suit's capabilities thoroughly before ever taking command of one himself. What better way to find a weakness then to face one in battle?
He quickly scanned the terrain surrounding it and marked a small building directly in front of the lumbering battlesuit. If the pathfinder scouts necessary for the 128's effectiveness were anywhere, they were there. A tighter scan revealed irregular heat signatures and movement.
"Shas'Vre Monat'Shan. Primary target is marked. Fire as soon as practicable. We cannot afford to wai-"
A massive ball of overcharge Ion streaked across the dunes and detonated against the building, scouring its surface clean and even hitting the 128's legs with splash damage. O'Sha'is'Nen smiled to himself. Vre'Monat'Shan was apparently just as eager to test himself against the pinnacle of Tau weaponry.
Now, to see what the beast can do...---
At such a small tourney, I felt compelled to bring something I wouldn't normally field. I decided to give Shas'O Ralai a try. I'd never fielded him, despite magnetizing my commander to be able to run as him. Other than that, it was simply my Tank and some objective grabbers.
Combined Arms Detachment: Farsight Enclaves
- Shas'O Ralai
3x XV8 Crisis teams: 1 Shas'ui w/ 2 flamers and VRT
1x Riptide: Ion, SMS, EWO, CDS
Round 1: Tau Empire
I faced off against the other Tau player first round in a Maelstrom mission. He brought a stormsurge accompanied by a minimum pathfinder team, minimum Fire Warrior strike team, and an Ethereal.
I deployed my Riptide outside of pathfinder marker range (no D missiles thank you very much), Ralai behind a building out of sight, and the crisis teams in reserve.
I luckily seized the initiative and wiped out the pathfinders first thing. He moved for my Riptide, and wounded him 3 times with some excellent shooting on his part and some abysmal armour/invul saves on my part. One of my crisis teams cleared out his strike team + ethereal and the other two either grabbed objectives.
In short, his Stormsurge killed my Riptide, then proceeded to kill off my other suits one by one through massed S5 shooting. I wounded the Stormsurge 5 times before he finally chased down my commander and pegged him with a D-strength shot. The ability to split-fire and a native 12" movement made him just too good on a 4x4 table at 500 points. In hindsight, I wonder if I wouldn't have been safer charging his Stormsurge. The Riptide definitely should have, since it only had one wound going into his turn. I should have at least charged in and maybe got another wound or two on him.
I lost the round due to being tabled, even though I had 7 victory points to his 4.
Round 2: 30k Sons of Horus
He brought a cheap-ish special character with a command squad and some reavers in a Dreadclaw. This game was Purge the Alien, which was not in my favor since I had 5 KP to his 4 and one of his was a Flyer and I had no Skyfire. Thankfully, we had a put in some mysterious objectives for the possibility of landing Skyfire. I didn't have to use it, but it at least gave me a chance at taking his flyer down.
The game went fairly well for me. He had tough decisions on how to use his flying dreadclaw, since I was able to maneuvre in such a way to stay mostly out of his Heat blasts, and the ones he got he rolled 1's for the amount of hits.He got First Blood, but I scored Linebreaker. I killed off his command squad and reavers and had his warlord down to 1 wound when the game ended. In return he had killed one of my Crisis suits.
So I squeaked out a win with 3 VP to his 2.
Round 3: Daemons
This mission was a board control mission where you needed to hold quarters at the end of the game (think Cleanse from way back when). He brought some Khorne hounds, some Nurglines, a Soulgrinder, and a Tzeentch herald with some Pink Horrors.
This was basically a predetermined loss. The board had too much line of sight blocking terrain for me to engage his summoners, so I just rolled dice to see how long I could survive. I'd also never played against a true Daemon list, only against KDK.
As expected, he summoned dogs and blood crushers and tied me up in combat. I forgot my Riptide had the CDS which probably would have made a big difference in my Overwatch since I'd Novacharged the SMS. Oh well.
My crisis teams roasted a fair bit of his Horrors but I couldn't make any headway against his numbers. Eventually, he transformed his herald into a D-thirster and finished me off. It was a valiant effort from my Tau, killing quite a few dogs and bloodcrushers, but not enough to make any headway against the daemon tide.
I scored First Blood and Slay the Warlord since he became possessed, but he scored a point for every table quarter, Linebreaker, and Slay the Warlord. So I lost 6 to 2.
The tournament was fun and the point level was interesting. It is certainly a whole different game at that level. I actually came in 2nd at the tournament because I scored so many VP's in the first round. I'm not sure they counted the scores correctly, but I'll take it.
He did...ok when he was able to shoot. He failed to hit any Khorne dogs for 4 straight combats which is pretty sad. And I failed his armour/invul saves more often than I saved them. So I suppose his purpose of tanking was a waste. But he did wipe out quite a few Khorne dogs and Blood Crushers, even with only a single Shooting and Intercept phase to do it. He also wounded the Stormsurge three times.
If I hadn't taken him, I might have invested in some more crisis teams. I could probably but 2 teams of 2 on the table for the same points.
They did their job well. They scored me points and rooted out some enemies in cover. Heatwave-D crisis suits are the best. And for 38 points each they were quite the steal.
His marker drones helped the Riptide when he actually got a chance to shoot. However, you really need 2 drones to make it worth it for either BS5 or ignores cover. 1 marker hit doesn't really help an Iontide that much. But the flip side is that when you have 2 drones the group's toughness is 4. I think I would have appreciated them more if I had more models in my army that could actually use a markerlight.
Ralai himself was ok too, but I found his sweet awesome rifle to be quite treacherous. I must've wounded myself 5 times throughout the tourney just through Gets Hot rolls followed by a failed armour save (come to think of it, I think I only passed one armour save against Gets Hot...)
I had hoped his flexibility would pay off in a 500 point level, but I hadn't counted on failing so many Gets Hot with his large blasts. In the end, he was usually only good for a single large blast or a couple S9 shots. His warlord trait was literally useless too, but I knew that going in.
I think he still has room to shine, so I won't give up on him yet. He certainly seems a bit overpriced though...
I threw this army together pretty quick, so I'm OK with how well it did. I certainly was having trouble optimizing the list at such a small point level. I am not sure exactly what I would change about my list. Perhaps I would drop Ralai for some cheaper options. Though I am not sure I could build a TAC list that would be able to handle the Stormsurge.