Okkul'a, no longer of the Shas, a nomad of dishonour. She had come to the dark city of Commorragh alone, with nothing but her weathered battle suit. She had spent her time in the fighting pits, earning a name. She had spent her time on the raiding crews, earning back her honour. Her past rank couldn't stay hidden forever, and her training to command led her to captain her very own crew. Now she was called in-front of Aun'O Palawa, one of the great fathers, seated on the Council of the Drowned. Her past could not remain hidden from them, her future to be decided by them. He was their voice.
Their meeting had been brief, they had been bought as mercenaries. 10,000 human souls provided from a remote colony, in return for protection against the seed of chaos. Corruption had begun to spread across the planet. This wasn't an uncommon task, running protection. The Tau of Commorragh still had honour, the people would be allowed to select their own sacrifices. The Tau has no use for them of course, drones could manage all the labour there was no need for slaves, and they had no need for souls, but in Commorragh the only currency is the torment of others, and the Tau, as with many other things, had perfected torment.
Before the end of the day she was stood at the edge of an ill looking meadow. Large drop-ships falling in and out of reality with the aid of the Drowned Council's contacts withing the great Eldar cabals of Commorragh. Each lifting hundreds of the humans to their dark fate. Before the doors had even closed Okkul'a could make out the Pain-Sim helmets being fitted, possessions being taken away. They were just meat now, set for a psychological 'tenderising' as it had come to be referred.
As the rain started to fall, Aun'o Palawa's last words to her rang out as if her battle-suit was hollow.
"For the greater good..."
It had taken Okkul'a a long time to come to terms with the meaning. How could any of this be 'Good', she thought back to how naive she was when she arrived. Now she understood the true meaning, for how can any single Tau benefit the greater good, without first realising their true potential. The strength of the individual far outweighs the weakness of the group. The sacrifice of the term 'Good' was essential to ensuring the Empires success. The ends always justify the means...
She turned her back to the gathering crowd of cattle, and surveyed her crew of warriors. The enemy was to arrive before it was dark.
Doubles, 750 points each. We were Tau/Imperial Guard.
Tournament scoring was victory points, each mission was predetermined Maelstrom.
Each list had to include two troops and a HQ (in any combination or formation, as long as it met those requirements).
My Tau list:
Farsight Retaliation Cadre
Commander with Plasma/Cyclic Ion, Advanced Targeting, Homing Beacon
5x Crisis Suit, each with Plasma/Cyclic Ion, and Advanced Targeting. Each had the bonding knife tax.
These were split into 3 squads of 2 (the commander making up for the odd numbers)
2x Broadside Battle-suits, Advanced Targeting, Heavy Rail & SMS
1x Riptide, Ion Accelerator, TL Plasma, Early Warning Override, Velocity Tracker
Pask in Punisher, 2x Vanquisher Leman Russ bodyguard.
Veteran Squad with a Missile Launcher.
-Platoon Command with Auto-cannon
-Infantry Squads x3
Game 1 Chaos Incursion
Two Chaos SM armies
Winning Deployment and First Turn, we deployed everything on our side of the board. The enemy we had immediately on the battlefield mirrored nicely. A long line of cultist conscripts, backed by two Demon Princes, and a pair of Vindicators. The first turn was gloriously bloody between the the guard and the cultists, vindicators and vanquishers dropping large blasts everywhere.
One of the Demon Princes took to flying straight off the bat, weight of fire from the Riptide and Pask took him down to 1 wound very quickly. The other Demon Prince chose to slog by foot up the left flank towards the remaining guard. He managed to fail his assault though. The weight of guard fire managed to take off two wounds, on turn two the guard opened fire again, but to little effect, however two of the crisis teams had enough time to get across the board towards it, the closer squad fired to full effect, the second was in Ion range, but only single fire with the plasma. It was enough to bring it down. The second demon prince managed to jink out of all of the fire directed at it, its only action on the previous turn to give Pask Gets Hot on his Punisher. The Chaos vanquishers hammered Pasks squad, wrecking one and immobilising another. The cultists were nearly wiped out save for one 4 man squad, and a lone Cultist sergeant, who had managed to beat an infantry sergeant to death and gain stubborn. The battle for the large hill in the middle was mostly between 2 crisis suits, what was left of the guard, and these lucky cultists. Turn 2 also marked the arrival of the Helldrake. The Riptide opened fire, but to little effect, this was likely a large tactical error. The firepower should have been saved for the demon prince. The central Crisis team overcharged their Ion Blasters, hoping to scatter that extra inch to catch the lone cultist sergeant, but unfortunately two direct hits on the four man squad simply marked the end of them. The Helldrake proceeded to melt off a large number of guard, and two crisis suits due to a chaos spell from the still alive Demon Prince causing a -1 toughness. Due to time, the game was called at the end of turn 3. 6-5 to the chaos. If the demon prince had died, we would have gotten Warlord, and if that one cultist had died, they would have lost 1 VP for the final turn capture.
Game 2 Dark Night
After the close battle with the Chaos, night descended. Okkul'a set up on the edge of the city. The chaos pushed back, but not defeated. Yet something felt off in the air. A new threat approached. Okkul'a had chosen not to retreat to the Low Altitude Platform, instead to simply bunker up in the ruins, ready for whatever threat would approach. The Broadside team stationed on the roof indicated the first sign of danger, a dual threat. Space marine drop-ships had been sighted on the edge of the city approaching fast from one direction, and on the other, the unmistakable silhouette of Riptide Battle-suits. It was not unheard of the the Empire to send elite hunting forces out against Tau from Commorragh. Denied to even exist by the greater empire, condemned by most who know the truth, their existence could not be seen to be tolerated. Of course there were the few who commended their views, sympathisers or those who understand the importance their work could have. Unlocking the Webway was an important step forward for the Tau, and understanding the psychic phenomenon could prove to be the key to true ascension for the empire. However it could not be denied the allies they kept, and the methods they employed could just as easily be its downfall.
Space Marines Biker Army (Unsure on formation, but had a skimmer called Darkshroud, and could re-roll cover saves), joined with a Riptide wing, with two minimum Firewarrior units, and a Fireblade.
First Turn and Deployment again, this time Night Fighting is in play. The Broadsides starting on top of a 7 story building, out of line of sight of the players, leaving them in prime position to be looked over for shooting targets.
The bikers deployed, then scouted half way across the board, this was going to be a quick fight. The three Riptides sat in a plaza mid board, with decent line of sight down all the streets, and the firewarriors and fireblade bunkering up in a building.
Darkshround apparently would have given everything +1 to their cover saves, meaning jinking +3 re-roll-able bikes. However the two broadsides made quick work of it left out in the open. AV10 all around meant 2 Heavy Rail shots, and 8 SMS rounds, all twin linked, took it down to 1 hull point in the first turn. The Auto-cannon from the guard finishing it off.
The enemy Riptides fired everything twice, but only managed to kill 1 crisis suit, and take 2 hull points off of one of the Leman Russ. The bikers, who had mostly jinked, simply charged up the board. Our turn two, and the majority of fire went towards the bikers, Advanced Targeting going for the librarian in their numbers, but passing all the look-out Sir rolls left him alive and unharmed, however alone. The Riptide Ion Accelerator overheated. The vanquishers managed to place a nice blast on the Tau HQ building, clearing out most of the squad, leaving just the Fireblade and one drone still alive. Unfortunately the broadsides had drawn the attention of the enemy riptides, and were completely wiped out, as their next target would have been the fireblade.
The Infantry Squads used this opportunity to run through the streets and get into CC with the riptides, locking them up.
The Crisis suits moved around to assist the Leman Russ, who were now being assaulted by the bikers. They were doing much less damage than expected, the only real pain coming from the attack bike with a Multi-Melta.
The fireblade began to flee towards the edge of the board, the infantry for the guard were being turned to pulp. The crisis suit weight of fire managed to kill all but the librarian of the SM bikers, who they then assaulted to issue a challenge. The game ended here. An apparent 10-2 victory to the SM/Tau, unsure where the 10 came from as i don't recall them scoring that much, but they definitely score more than us either way due to board control and bad tactical objective pulling on our part. We simply didn't have the manoeuvrability in this game.
All 3 enemy Riptides were wounded (mostly self inflicted) but alive. The Librarian and a scout squad was all that was left of the SM, we had two Leman Russ, our own riptide, and 5 Crisis Suits. I think if the game had continued we could have pulled back a victory with ease, but what can you do? I do wonder what would have happened if i had used the Retaliation Cadre to deep-strike in the middle of the three riptides on turn 2. Would we have been able to kill them with weight of fire?
Game 3 The True Goal
The night attack had left Okkul'a weary. Despite the fall-back of the enemy Tau at the last second, and the obliteration of the Space marine forces, supplies were low. As day came about, the remaining force had retreated to the Low Orbit Station. The Space Marines had redirected their forces to the chaos, a small blessing that meant they would not be an issue gain. It was simply a matter of waiting for the true target.
Homunculus Rai'Ta and his distant cousin Farseer Kael'Ro
Rai'Ta was a low player in Commorragh, he saw his opportunity to take advantage of the Drowned Council, and he took it. The ones responsible for feeding information to the vile man had been dealt with. Replaced by those loyal to the cause. Rai'Ta believes himself about to interrupt a great deal, take the souls for his own nefarious needs, and deliver a blow to the Drowned Council's supply lines. A show of force was needed.
The Eldar forces arrived sometime around dawn. They quickly made their way towards the heart of the war-torn city, and with relative ease as the fighting forces moved the opposite direction towards the chaos besiegers. As they approached the Governors office, they began to set up. The last bastion of the humans, the defence here was strong. The time to strike was now.
Again deployment and first turn. The Eldar/Dark Eldar list had mostly long range low toughness units, so i chose to hold everything in reserves. The Leman Russ set up facing straight down the main street, with the guardsmen sat across 3 objectives on our end of the board. The Eldar set up most of their infantry in one building, with a large weapon emplacement on top. They had a wave-serpent sat down one side of the board, a Wraith Lord across the other.
The Dark Eldar deployed a Talos/Chronos (unsure which) with the Wraith Lord, then deployed his Homunculus with Wracks/Grotesques next to the wave-serpent.
First turn the vanquishers dealt a heavy blow, hitting the main Eldar infantry direct, clearing the entire building except the Farseer, who apparently whilst deploying with them was not joined to the squad.
The Auto-Cannon failed to damage the wave-serpent. Their turn the Wraith Lord obliterated one of the Russ Vanquishers. The Talos/Chronos moved forward. The Wave-Serpent managed to kill the Auto-Cannon team, but nothing else was in LoS.
Turn two, and we rained hell. The commander w/ Homing beacon landed first, right at the end of the main road, between their forces. Everything else followed. The Broadsides immobilised the Wave-Serpent, and destroyed its main weapon. One Crisis team took out the lone Farseer on the back board. The Riptide failed to wound the Wraith Lord, the rest of the Crisis teams wiped out the Dark Eldar elites, leaving just the Homunculus with two wracks. The next turn was mainly my units being assaulted by what was left. We killed a few in overwatch, won a few combats. The Homunculus was stuck in combat with two crisis suits. The Riptide was stuck with the Wraith Lord. The Wave-Serpent spewed out a number of Wraithblades, which were unable to join the assault this turn.
On our third turn, the broadsides joined the assault on the Homunculus, attempting to gain the Warlord kill. My commander was killed in middle of battle by the remaining dark eldar forces. The Leman Russ were just too slow to provide any support this far up-field.
By the end of their turn 3 the Wraithblades had gotten into combat with the broadsides/crisis/homunculus, and wiped out everything. The Wraith lord killed the Riptide, and the last of the Crisis suits died off. There was nothing left of either force aside from the Wraithblades, a Homunculus on 1 wound, and the Wraith Lord. But again due to the lack of board mobility, it ended as a draw.
As Okkul'a lay against the earth, the front of her battle-suit torn open in the fight, the rain began to fall again. Whilst he was still alive, Homunculus Rai'Ta had been dealt a heavy blow. His army obliterated, the message was delivered. The Tau of Commorragh would hold their place. Okkul'a took her last breath, for the greater good.