I played my first game of 40k 8th edition in a Matched Play game against Harlequins at 1500pts. We did not use Tactical Objectives, to keep our first game that bit easier to manage.Tau Army
Outrider and Vanguard Detachments: Command Points: 5
• HQ - Commander w/ 3x Missile Pod, ATS (156)
• HQ - Commander w/ 4x Fusion Blaster (160)
• HQ - Commander w/ 3x Cyclic Ion Blaster, ATS (138)
• HQ - Longstrike w/ Railgun, 2x SMS (215) (Warlord)
• Troops – 5x Fire Warrior Strike Team w/ Pulse Rifles, Photon Grenades, Markerlight, DS8 Tactical Support Turret w/ Missile Pod (63)
• Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 8x Flamer, Drone Controller, 6x Gun Drones (251)
• Elites – Ghostkeel Battlesuit w/ Cyclic Ion Raker, 2x Burst Cannons, ATS, Target Lock and 2x MV5 Stealth Drones (181)
• Elites – 3x Stealth Battlesuits w/ 3x Burst Cannons, Drone Controller, Velocity Tracker, Homing Beacon (117)
• Fast Attack – 8x Gun Drones (64)
• Fast Attack – 8x Gun Drones (64)
• Fast Attack – 6x Vespids inc Vespid Strain Leader (90)
I chose this list with help from this topic - viewtopic.php?f=48&t=26006
The Ghostkeel was in there because I had just bought and painted one. The rest of the models I have had for years.Harlequin Army
Battalion Detachment: Command Points: 6
• Shadowseer (Warlord)
• Troupe Master
• 1x foot-slogging Troupe
• 2xTroupes in Starweavers w/ Fusion Pistols and Caresses
• Death Jester
• Solitaire (in one of the Starweavers)
• 4x Skyweavers w/ 2 zephyrglaives
• 2x Voidweavers w/ Prismatic Cannons
We played Eternal War – Retrieval Mission, with my opponent getting to choose deployment. With a close combat Harlequin army he picked Search and Destroy, enabling him to get as close as possible to my deployment zone.
I picked Tenacious Survivor for Longstrike as his Warlord Trait.
We each placed two objectives in our deployment zones. Both of us choose a location high up in a ruin and placed the other at the base of another ruin but otherwise in the open, towards the rear of the deployment zones.
My plan was to Infiltrate the Stealth Suits forward, in hiding, and use their Homing Beacon to bring down some Crisis Suit flame-y death on something numerous and squishy. The Vespids, Fusion Commander and Cyclic Ion Commander were also tasked to pace around in the Manta Hold or hang out In the Sky pending suitable targets of opportunity.
I deployed with this in mind. My main force lined up with two rows of Gun Drones in the front with the Fire Warriors behind them, and the Missile Pod commander behind them. Longstrike went on their left flank behind a large ruin. The Ghostkeel went on the right flank, using Infiltrate to get into cover near an objective, but still close enough to protect the flank.
The only significant error I made was to over-expose Longstrike on my left flank. With him as my Warlord I should have ensured he was out of range of Harlequin heavy support on Turn 1 (meaning the Skyweavers and Voidweavers). The other issue I had was that I had no way to get one of my two Drone Controllers near my units of Gun Drones. Might be worth taking one on the Missile Pod commander.
Harlequins deployed everything on the table, leaving only the Death Jester perched atop a ruin next to an objective to watch the Harlequin back field.Turn 1
Everything moved up further than I had expected! The Shadowseer failed his psychic power. The Skyweavers and Voidweavers hammered Longstrike, taking him down to 3 Wds. Oh very dear. The foot-Troupe fired into the Gun Drones and charged, and we all learned a lesson about Overwatch and For the Greater Good. It was brutal, with 16 Gun Drones and the Fire Warriors killing all but two of the Harlequins. The unit of Gun Drones suffered mild casualties and held.Tau
The Stealth Suits emerged and dropped their Homing Beacon next to the Skyweavers. The XV8 Flamer unit with their drones and the Fusion commander used it to arrive right next to all the Harlequins’ heavy support. The Vespid arrived deep in the enemy back field, but in range of the Voidweavers. The Cyclic Ion Commander decided to help out the Ghostkeel and dropped into ruins between the Ghostkeel and my main infantry force. The Gun Drones fell back a couple of inches so they could fire on the remaining foot Troupe.
Shooting wiped out the remaining foot Troupe, but invulnerable saves on the Starweavers soaked all the remaining fire, and while I destroyed one I had no shooting left to target the Troupe that disembarked from the wreckage.
The flamer Crisis team and Gun Drones killed three of the four Skyweavers and got the last one down to one Wd! The Vespids and the Fusion commander killed one of the two Voidweavers.
The flamer Crisis team and Gun Drones assaulted the last Starweaver but failed to take the final Wd off it. The Fusion commander assaulted the Voidweavers, forgetting it had the Fly rule and could Fall Back next Turn anyway. He did no damage.
First Blood to Tau: 1VPSummary
: Some keen shooting by the Harlequins had nearly scored Slay the Warlord on Turn 1, but the Tau’s defensive fire and pin-point reinforcements had provided a decisive response.Turn 2
The Harlequins now had a definite fear of assaulting my infantry core! The Troupe from the wrecked Starweaver changed course and headed for the Skyweaver melee, along with the Troupe Master and the Shadowseer. The lone Skyweaver did not Fall Back, ensuring that I could not fire Overwatch in the coming Fight phase.
The third Troupe disembarked along with the Solitaire. The Solitaire headed for the Ghostkeel, the now-empty Starweaver moved close to my Fire Warriors and the Troupe itself prepared to shoot and charge the weakened unit of Gun Drones. Shooting killed some Drones and the Charge suffered badly from Overwatch and FtGG. The Gun Drone unit survived to fight back.
The last Voidweaver Fell Back and tried to kill off Longstrike, but I got very lucky and he stuck around on 2 Wds.
The Death Jester, glad to have targets in range at last, fired at the Vespids and managed to kill four of them.
The Solitaire took wounds from Overwatch as it charged the Ghostkeel, but neither model harmed the other in the ensuing melee! This despite the Solitaire having 10 attacks!
The Starweaver killed two Fire Warriors and charged in, taking some hits from the Cyclic Ion Commander.
In the big melee, a Troupe, the Troupe Master and the Shadowseer fired pistols and charged into the Crisis Suit unit. We both then learned just how good Saviour Protocols were. Many drones died, but only one Wd got through to one XV8. The last Skyweaver fell.Summary
: Things were not looking so good for the Harlequins. This was their chance to turn it around, but they were not able to kill off key Tau units in the assault. Drones ftw.Tau
The Vespids moved to the objective deep in enemy territory, and their shooting killed the Death Jester, taking one objective and denying the Harlequins the other.
The flame Crisis unit and drones Fell Back, and their shooting obliterated the Shadowseer, for Slay the Warlord, and the Troupe Master.
The Ghostkeel moved to the nearby objective in the Tau back field and its shooting along with the Cyclic Ion Commander killed the Solitaire.
The Gun Drones, Longstrike and the Missile Pod Commander moved to secure the other home objective and their combined shooting killed the nearby Troupe remnants and the last Starweaver.Summary
: The Tau held three Objectives and the Harlequins held none and had only two units left on the table. We called it there, but only after allowing the Voidweaver to shoot at and kill off Longstrike!Result
: Tau win (lots to 1)Thoughts
: Gun Drones are phenomenal, both in terms of weight of fire and Saviour Protocols. Fusion commanders are scary, but Crisis Suits with 8 Flamers and 6 Gun Drones delivered to within 1” of an enemy unit are properly trouser-wrecking. Everything did a solid shift and I would happily play this army again.
I did learn to always overload Cyclic Ion weapons for shooting at vehicles, since the default profile is no good. I forgot to use Master of War!
To expand this to 1750 I would definitely add a Cadre Fireblade, and ensure I have a Drone Controller near my firebase. More Gun Drones would be a good idea, too