"Learning" Battle Report

Battle Reports and debriefing thoughts about your Tau in action
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Lil_misfit
Shas'La
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"Learning" Battle Report

Post#1 » Aug 06 2017 12:34

Hello all,

A few days ago my dad said he'd like to try out Warhammer 40k (actually he said "That sci fi game") before he left on a long trip as he liked the models and stuff I was doing so I said yes as I needed to learn the game rules before I actually went to a store and played the game. So I bring you our chaotic 5 turn game.

The Armies,

We had to split my T'au army into two in order for us to play.

"Blue Team" My Team
Warlord Fire Warrior Shas'Ui

Fire Warrior team x10 with DS8 Deployable (Warlord)
Pathfinder team x5 with 3 Ion Rifles
Pathfinder team x5 with 1 Rail Rifle and 2 Tac Drones
Stealth Suit team x3 with 1 Fusion Blaster and 2 Tac Drones
Piranha with blast cannon
1 Recon Drone

"Yellow Team" Dad's Team
Warlord Ethereal without drone
Ethereal with drone
XV8 Crisis Suits x3 with 2 Tac Drones
Sniper Team x5 with 2 Rail Rifles and 2 Tac Drones
(We didn't realize that we were one man extra until the end of the game)
Kroot Carnivores x11 with Kroot Shaper "Quarter"
1 Recon Drone

There might've been a few extra drones I forgot to mention but I'm pretty sure this is all the "important" stuff. During the battle we calculated the Power Point value and Blue Team had the higher points giving Yellow Team "Underdog" status with some re rolls. (Hope we did that right).

Mission: Only War
Objective: Slay and Secure
Fluff: The T'au of Fue'gel began their largest training simulation yet. It posed a mechanized infantry group against a large adhoc force made up of Battle Suits and Natives.

Turn 1: The simulation began as both teams deployed on the field, Blue team's pathfinders taking cover behind the hills and barricades while the Fire Warrior team stood upon the hill ready to fight with their Piranha protector. Across the landscape you could see the small Yellow team force huddled around a barricade of their own. On the largest mountain stood their Warlord surrounded by Markerlight drones.

The pathfinder teams of Blue advanced on the three central objectives leaving the Northern most objective protected by a single team. A few shots were fired from the fire warriors at the Yellow sniper team mearly showing that were in range. Little did they know that behind the old tower floated an etheral observing their actions. He sped his hover drone across the field as fast as he could to regroup with his men. In the distance he saw the great kroot swarm emerge from behind the hill charging towards the Blue Stealth Team who stood in the middle of the field.

Image

Turn 2: The stealth suits jumped out of the horde, claws gripping and scratching their armor as they went. Blue pathfinders opened fire upon the enemy but the kroot were resilient foes. The Blue Warlord moved towards the enemy strong point with piranha and pathfinder in toe. Shots were fired at the Yellow sniper team and many drones fell to protect them. The Piranha saw the floating Yellow ethereal and opened fire all guns towards him wounding the ethereal. The sniper team shot at the fleeing blue stealth suits and killed one as it slammed heavily into the ground. The Kroot charged the Blue stealth suits again piercing a Shas'ui's arm. The Yellow warlord stood at the edge of the hill now as his marker lights continued to follow him.

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Turn 3: The Blue Warlord continued to rain down fire upon the Yellow sniper team as his pathfinders marched towards the center where the tower stood. The pathfinders defending the southern most objective were being charged by the Kroot managing to hold off them and keep the objective. In the northern objective sat a quiet pathfinder team watching the battle far away. Soon an explosion was heard, then a great crash as smoke and dust bellowed around them. They looked behind them to see three shining Crisis Suits standing there weapons pointed towards them. They were no more.

Image

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Turn 4: The Blue Warlord looked to the north and saw the new arrivals. He commanded forth his men to the north to take on the new threat and hopefully save the few remaining pathfinders. The Blue Pathfinders were now dead as the Kroot feasted upon their flesh. The shaper noted that they had lost quite a few kroot against these tau, they would make excellent meals. The blue stealth suit Shas'Vre stood alone. His last remaining companion shot by a yellow sniper. He peered at the mountain knowing his next target as the Yellow ethereal charged the lone stealth suit.

Image

Turn 5: The Blue Warlord fought against the Crisis suits but his men were dying quickly against the barrage of blast cannon, plasma, and missles. They had deployed the support turret but it's efforts were futile. Behind him the Blue pathfinders were now on the tower but surrounded. They sent their gun drones to take out the remaining snipers as they turned their guns on the Kroot. The kroot opened fire on the blue stealth suit ripping many bullets through his back killing him. Seeing his foe vanquished, the Yellow ethereal charged the Blue pathfinders in the central tower, alone. He dodge plasma bolts and ion shots, seeing an ion gun explode killing the user. He thrusted his spear in to the group...

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And thats where we called the game. The Yellow team had captured 2/4 Objectives and Blue Team captured 1/4 objectives. If the Yellow Warlord didn't charge then they would've had 3/4 objectives. Oh well, it was cool but we didn't even see if the ethereal could do much in hand to hand as it was obvious that the battle was done and it was late.

Some questions my dad and I had:

How are you supposed to use the Ethereal as they really didn't do much for us?
In hand to hand combat does the attacker and defender get to attack or just the attacker?
How do you use Shield drones?
Whats the purpose of the 3 step shooting, why wouldn't it be just roll to hit and then see if they save? If they don't then they're wounded? It just seems kinda silly to have to roll 3 times to see if you damage on an attack.
Morale phase, do the deaths stack up? Like if I lost 2 guys the prev turn and I lose 1 this turn to I add 3 to the die roll for morale or 1?
Can stealth suits shoot after falling back?

Some images:

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Those snipers wouldn't die.

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The defending sniper team that should only have 4 guys and not 5... oh well! Can't even remember my own rules.
Most of my stuff is here!

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Meyen
Shas'Saal
Posts: 52

Re: "Learning" Battle Report

Post#2 » Aug 07 2017 10:11

Lil_misfit wrote:Some questions my dad and I had:

How are you supposed to use the Ethereal as they really didn't do much for us?

The same as in 7th. They are a buffing unit and should stay close enough to the infantry that needs their abilites. This should prevent them being targets themselves.

Lil_misfit wrote:In hand to hand combat does the attacker and defender get to attack or just the attacker?

Both sides get to attack. Charging units first. Then alternating starting with whomever's turn it is.

Lil_misfit wrote:How do you use Shield drones?

This seems to change every FAQ and currently depends on whether are using Saviour Protocols or not.
Normally they have a 4+ save and a 4+invulnerable. If using SP then it's a straight Mortal Wound. However whichever way they are used they now get a 5 up chance to survive. Best used close to valuble units.

Lil_misfit wrote:Whats the purpose of the 3 step shooting, why wouldn't it be just roll to hit and then see if they save? If they don't then they're wounded? It just seems kinda silly to have to roll 3 times to see if you damage on an attack.

Some weapons deal extra damage best used against multi-wound units. Against most infantry it'll have no extra impact. Essentially it's roll to hit, roll to wound, roll to save. Potential extra damage comes after this.

Lil_misfit wrote:Morale phase, do the deaths stack up? Like if I lost 2 guys the prev turn and I lose 1 this turn to I add 3 to the die roll for morale or 1?

No. It's how many lost that turn previous to the morale phase. So if you lost 2 firewarriors last turn and 3 this turn you would test against 3.

Lil_misfit wrote:Can stealth suits shoot after falling back?

Yes as they have the 'fly' keyword.

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
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Posts: 2196

Re: "Learning" Battle Report

Post#3 » Aug 07 2017 06:52

Meyen wrote:
Lil_misfit wrote:Whats the purpose of the 3 step shooting, why wouldn't it be just roll to hit and then see if they save? If they don't then they're wounded? It just seems kinda silly to have to roll 3 times to see if you damage on an attack.

Some weapons deal extra damage best used against multi-wound units. Against most infantry it'll have no extra impact. Essentially it's roll to hit, roll to wound, roll to save. Potential extra damage comes after this.


Interesting question, I don't think I've ever thought about that. Rolling to wound adds more depth to the game- by adding more characteristics to weapons, you can increase the variety of weapons in the game and produce more varied results using S/T comparison.

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Panzer
Shas'Saal
Posts: 3548

Re: "Learning" Battle Report

Post#4 » Aug 08 2017 01:44

Arka0415 wrote:
Meyen wrote:
Lil_misfit wrote:Whats the purpose of the 3 step shooting, why wouldn't it be just roll to hit and then see if they save? If they don't then they're wounded? It just seems kinda silly to have to roll 3 times to see if you damage on an attack.

Some weapons deal extra damage best used against multi-wound units. Against most infantry it'll have no extra impact. Essentially it's roll to hit, roll to wound, roll to save. Potential extra damage comes after this.


Interesting question, I don't think I've ever thought about that. Rolling to wound adds more depth to the game- by adding more characteristics to weapons, you can increase the variety of weapons in the game and produce more varied results using S/T comparison.

Actually a kinda weird question. What's the point of any rolls. It's the game we play, that's what it is. We could just as well skip all the rolls inbetween and just determine which army won right when the game begins....but it wouldn't be much of a game then, wouldn't it. ;)

It adds depths and a way to differenciate units from eachother. Without it any unit would be as durable as the next which would be weird af.

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
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Posts: 2196

Re: "Learning" Battle Report

Post#5 » Aug 08 2017 02:14

Panzer wrote:Actually a kinda weird question. What's the point of any rolls. It's the game we play, that's what it is.


But that's why it's such a fascinating question!

"Why do we roll to wound?" Because that's just how the game works.

"Why do we play the game?" Because that's our hobby.

"Why do we have hobbies?" Because we need to fill the time we have.

"Why do we have time?" Because time exists.

"Why does time exist?" ... :neutral:

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Lil_misfit
Shas'La
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Posts: 21
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Re: "Learning" Battle Report

Post#6 » Aug 09 2017 04:35

Okay,

I realize I wasn't explaining my question enough about the rolls and I do understand it is a game so whatever rules I have to follow while playing it because the book says so. :) And it does lead to a wide variety of weapons being able to be made.

But this lead to an interesting conversation between my dad and I.

The First roll for shooting is "to hit" so this represents the shooting model's own accuracy.

Second roll is for the hitting shot actually wounding the model vs its toughness which is usually represented by the amount of armor on the model. So I get the reason for this as if the shooter fails this roll the target shrugged it off or glanced the shot off his armor.

The third roll is... and this is where I don't understand why the third roll is there. I'd understand if models with force fields would actually get a third roll but I just can't comprehend what the third roll is representing. To me it feels like some "magical" save as if fate itself is trying to save your models to stop the endless war in the 40k universe. :)

Maybe it gives some "fluff" for this roll in the book and I missed it?

Hope this makes sense as my dad and I talked about the purpose for the rolls quite a bit and even discussed some strategy after the game.

lil_misfit
Most of my stuff is here!

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CmdrCASh
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 142

Re: "Learning" Battle Report

Post#7 » Aug 09 2017 07:13

Interesting battle report there! Like the speech bubbles and additional special effects.

As to your question about the rolls, here is my take:

WH40k is a kind of a simulation wargame. As with real life, there are no absolutes, so there has to be a mechanic to simulate this random variability. This is unlike a game of say, Chess, where attacks are always successful (though you could always play a variant where you add WS stats to the pieces and roll dice whenever there's an attack :D).
Regarding a diceless game, you could,

if you wanted to, play 40k just based on the law of averages where all actions are resolved by calculating and using the average result. So for example, if you have a squad of 8 fire warriors with pulse carbines who shoot at 4+. You would just take the total number of shots (16) and then calculate the average hit rate (50%) and end with a result of 8 hits. You would then repeat with the rest like the wounding rolls and saves etc, rounding up or down depending on your interpretation of the rules.

So next, to the reasoning behind the rolls:

When a game is designed, the designer has to set the amount of detail he wants to put into the simulation. Which parts need to be detailed, and which parts need to be abstracted. The main tradeoff is always about detail vs playability/fun. If I wanted to create a simpler game, yes, I could just reduce the attack rolls to a single dice roll instead of three, but then it removes the accuracy/detail of the game, because you have reduced what was supposed to be representing the accuracy of the firer, the resilience of the target and the armour quality of the target into a single abstract roll.

How much detail/abstraction depends on the kind of game the designer is aiming for. If it's a more serious simulation to understand more about how things interact on a battlefield, or to have a more accurate representation of what goes on in a battle, then more detail is put in. If the focus is more on making the game flow smoothly and remove the boring parts of battle, then things are abstracted. If you have played the different editions of 40k or other game systems you might have picked up on this.

Why there are three rolls you say?

The first roll simulates how easy/difficult it is to hit a target. The skill of the attacker, the bonuses from factors that make it easier to hit (commander buffs, markerlights), penalties from things that make it harder (smoke shrouding, stealth fields).

The second roll simulates whether the power of the attack managed to overcome the resilience of the target. More powerful weapons have a higher chance of damaging targets. LIkewise, tougher targets have a higher chance of shrugging off damage. This could be just the general durability of the target's construction, or the sheer bulk of the target's body requiring a weapon with higher strength to cause any significant damage.

The third roll simulates "saves", which generally represents the armour and protections a target has to stop the attack.
Units with better armour, like crisis suits with their fio'tak nanocrystaline armour have better saves than say, a kroot carnivore's bare skin.

Now you are probably asking why shouldn't the third roll come before the second, as following a logical path of reasoning, we should test for the armour/protections on a target before we test to see whether the shot actually damaged it. For this my guess is playability, since having it in the to hit/to wound/to save sequence allows the attacker to roll both to hit and to wound, then passing the rolls to the defender, instead of to hit/to save/to wound where the attacker rolls, then the defender, then back to the attacker, which takes a little more time as the rolls are passed around.

Some other game systems like Flames of War ( a WWII tabletop wargame) have the sequence to hit/to save/to wound instead of to hit/to wound/to save.

If you or your dad are interested in understanding about what goes underneath the hood of a wargame, one good starting point is the book Tabletop Wargames: A Designers' and Writers' Handbook by Rick Priestley and John Lambshead. It gives a good introductory look at why tabletop game rules are designed in a certain way.

Anyhow, hope you have many more enjoyable and memorable games of Warhammer 40k!
Ka'ash Sept

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Arka0415
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Posts: 2196

Re: "Learning" Battle Report

Post#8 » Aug 09 2017 10:47

CmdrCASh wrote:The first roll simulates how easy/difficult it is to hit a target. The skill of the attacker, the bonuses from factors that make it easier to hit (commander buffs, markerlights), penalties from things that make it harder (smoke shrouding, stealth fields).

The second roll simulates whether the power of the attack managed to overcome the resilience of the target. More powerful weapons have a higher chance of damaging targets. LIkewise, tougher targets have a higher chance of shrugging off damage. This could be just the general durability of the target's construction, or the sheer bulk of the target's body requiring a weapon with higher strength to cause any significant damage.

The third roll simulates "saves", which generally represents the armour and protections a target has to stop the attack.
Units with better armour, like crisis suits with their fio'tak nanocrystaline armour have better saves than say, a kroot carnivore's bare skin.

Now you are probably asking why shouldn't the third roll come before the second, as following a logical path of reasoning, we should test for the armour/protections on a target before we test to see whether the shot actually damaged it. For this my guess is playability, since having it in the to hit/to wound/to save sequence allows the attacker to roll both to hit and to wound, then passing the rolls to the defender, instead of to hit/to save/to wound where the attacker rolls, then the defender, then back to the attacker, which takes a little more time as the rolls are passed around.


Yeah, this is the way I've understood it too. It makes more sense to do hit > save > wound, but the fewer times dice are passed between players the better. Speed is pretty important for games like 40k.

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Panzer
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Posts: 3548

Re: "Learning" Battle Report

Post#9 » Aug 10 2017 01:00

Lil_misfit wrote:Okay,

I realize I wasn't explaining my question enough about the rolls and I do understand it is a game so whatever rules I have to follow while playing it because the book says so. :) And it does lead to a wide variety of weapons being able to be made.

But this lead to an interesting conversation between my dad and I.

The First roll for shooting is "to hit" so this represents the shooting model's own accuracy.

Second roll is for the hitting shot actually wounding the model vs its toughness which is usually represented by the amount of armor on the model. So I get the reason for this as if the shooter fails this roll the target shrugged it off or glanced the shot off his armor.

The third roll is... and this is where I don't understand why the third roll is there. I'd understand if models with force fields would actually get a third roll but I just can't comprehend what the third roll is representing. To me it feels like some "magical" save as if fate itself is trying to save your models to stop the endless war in the 40k universe. :)

Maybe it gives some "fluff" for this roll in the book and I missed it?

Hope this makes sense as my dad and I talked about the purpose for the rolls quite a bit and even discussed some strategy after the game.

lil_misfit

No, the to-wound roll is not whether it can penetrate the armor. It's whether the shot has enough punch to do any serious damage to the target in the first place or whether it was able to shrug it off (keep in mind that not every hit is a clean hit).
One could argue about the order of rolls like whether the armor penetration should come before the to-wound roll, but in the end it wouldn't change anything except that instead of the attacking player making their rolls and then the defending player the rolls would alternate between both player which would frankly be more annoying imo.

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
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Posts: 2196

Re: "Learning" Battle Report

Post#10 » Aug 10 2017 04:25

Panzer wrote:No, the to-wound roll is not whether it can penetrate the armor. It's whether the shot has enough punch to do any serious damage to the target in the first place or whether it was able to shrug it off (keep in mind that not every hit is a clean hit).
One could argue about the order of rolls like whether the armor penetration should come before the to-wound roll, but in the end it wouldn't change anything except that instead of the attacking player making their rolls and then the defending player the rolls would alternate between both player which would frankly be more annoying imo.


Yup! Wound and save similar in a way- both take into account the model's defensive characteristics. Wounding is all about the durability and physical resilience of the model (i.e. superhuman stamina, regenerative abilities, redundant organs/limbs) while armor saves are about the model's equipped armor and other defensive gear.

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