Round 3: Tau Empire
I was going into the final round against the only other undefeated player in the tourney. He played Tau Empire and he played a list very similar to my own:Combined Arms Detachment
Commander w/ DC, SG, & 2 Marker DronesRiptide Wing
6 Fire Warriors
6 Fire Warriors
Unit of 2 Stormsurges. One with the Driver Cannon and one with the Blastcannon
3x Riptides with Heavy Burst Cannons, SMS, & Stims
Obviously, we had the same ideas, though he had the second Stormsurge model for his list. I would have done some things differently but it was obviously working for him so far. My biggest issue would be saving myself from his greater quantity of D missiles, after that I felt that I had the upper hand in terms of Anti-MC firepower since my Y'vahra wouldn't be too bad vs. his Stormsurges and my Riptides had AP2 weaponry. We both had the same amount of Kill Points (9) but I had the upper hand since I could score an extra 4 VP if I killed his Stormsurges to his 2. The Mission
The mission was pure Kill Points. We were also each given a "base" building which was worth 3 extra points if destroyed. Slay the Warlord, First Blood, Last Blood.
I won the roll-off again, which was huge. Shooting first in this game would be one of the deciding factors, so I was quite relieved.
Since I played Farsight Enclaves and he played Tau Empire, we viewed this as the loyalist Tau trying to beat my Enclaves back into the fold. Who will prevail?Deployment
Vanguard Strike. I put most stuff forward, thinking I'd need to close with him to use my Blastcannon. Plus, I knew he was the type to try and put his anchors down on the Stormsurges. I started the Y'vahra in reserves and deployed the rest out front. My building was also completely obscured so he had no chance of destroying it without leaving his side of the board.
He deployed opposite, castled up on top of his "base" which granted him a 3+ cover save (grrr). He made a big error here. He forgot to deploy his commander and his pair of marker drones. They would have to deploy via Deep Strike and meant I had even fewer markerlights to deal with on the first turn.First Turns
I focused my first turn on clearing out his markerlights. The leftover shooting (which was quite a bit since he didn't have many markerlights) went to the Stormsurges. We traded fire but I came out with markerlights and he didn't. I was able to kill both Stormsurges over turns 2 and 3, and his tetras on turn 1. I also killed both markerlights on the turn his commander Deep Struck. I had forgotten about his base, which was a bummer since I definitely could have destroyed it with the amount of high Strength blasts I kept dropping on top of it while shooting the Stormsurges.
In exchange, I lost my Tetras, one of my Crisis suits, and my own Stormsurge. Since Lord of War granted extra VP's for wounds stripped, I was pretty far ahead going into the later part of the game. It could have been much worse since ITC has nerfed the rules for ranged D weapons. Otherwise I would have killed his Stormsurge unit with my D-missiles (I rolled one of the magical 6's). Later Turns
The Y'vahra went down to the enemy Riptides' Hailstorm attack, but he ate almost the entire shooting of all 3 Riptides shooting twice! The shear volume of firepower and good saves on my part really took the wind out of my opponent's sails. And I wasn't even using the 3+ cover save from his building like I should have been.
Stormsurges are gone, now the grind begins...After that he slowly whittled down one of my Iontides so I retreated it back to deny the Kill Point. My other two Riptides advanced, killing one of his Riptides and wounding another. I wiped out the Commander and Firewarrior teams (exchanging my Culexus and a Crisis suit) which left it to just the Riptides. He had greater volume of fire, but I had AP2 weapons. The big disparity was that he had Stim injectors while I did not.
I advanced my Riptides up close, thinking I had the game in the bag so I could afford to be brash and possibly destroy his "base" in close combat next turn. He charged me instead and I lost one of my Riptides to an insanely accurate set of close combat attacks (he hit and wounded me 3 times with 4 attacks and I failed all my invulnerable saves).
We rolled for game end and it was over.2v2 going into the final turnConclusion: Victory!
I had killed his Warlord, got 4 extra VP from his Stormsurges, and got First Blood. Neither of us had killed a building but he got Last Blood.
The game was closer than I thought it would be, ending 18 to 12. Enclaves win out against the Empire!
It was a bloody grudge match between very similar lists. However, getting first turn and packing a bit more AP2 in my list made a big difference. He also left my marker drones alone which allowed me to ignore his superior cover.
Wow was it brutal though. His Stormsurges never moved so I was fortunate to have killed one of them before he started shooting me twice each turn. I think that I correctly gauged the biggest threats and was lucky enough with the dice to neutralize them when I needed to. However, had he fired first I doubt I could have turned it around.
I played too aggressively in the end, and I was stupid to keep forgetting about his "base" which I think I could have killed for another 3 points if I'd only remembered it was there. Lessons Learned
-Games between Stormsurges/Tau heavily favor whoever goes first (just like Apocalypse. Imagine that...)
-Riptides have 36" heavy burst cannon range. I thought I'd put myself out of range only to learn our guns have an extra 12" on them!
-Don't risk the little guys. In a game like this, the smaller units had almost no impact so I probably should have just kept them back and stayed alive.
-Stims are nice. His Riptides were very very tough. I thought I would clear them out much quicker but instead he was whittling me down. I misjudged them and next time I'll be more wary.back to top