Headless Horsemen Tournament Report

Battle Reports and debriefing thoughts about your Tau in action
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Headless Horsemen Tournament Report

Post#1 » Oct 23 2017 05:44

This weekend I had a great time at the Headless Horseman RTT in upstate New York. The event was put on by the same club that does the Goldensprue Cup GT, and they did a great job. They use one of the best Mission Packets I have ever used, and have plenty of terrain all painted to a theme for each table-top mat they were set up with.

Since 8th dropped, I haven’t wanted to buy any new models until the Tau stabilized a bit, so I have been working exclusively on models I had in my backlog. I Here’s the list I brought:

Tau Empire

42pts-Cadre Fireblade[WARLORD]

210pts-Ghostkeel w/Fusion Collider, 2x Fusion Blasters, Target Lock, Multi Tracker, 2x Stealth Drones

210pts-Ghostkeel w/Fusion Collider, 2x Fusion Blasters, Target Lock, Multi Tracker, 2xStealth Drones

76pts-8xPathfinders w/5xCarbines, 3xIon Rifles

76pts-8xPathfinders w/5xCarbines, 3xIon Rifles

76pts-8xPathfinders w/
5xCarbines, 3xIon Rifles

64pts-8xDrones w/2xShield Drones, 6xGun Drones

80pts-8xDrones w/8xMarkerlight Drones

156pts-Commander w/3xMissile Pods, Advanced Targeting System

155pts-R'alai w/Experimental Pulse Submuniton Rifle, Drone Controller, 2xBlacklight Markerlight Drones

40pts-Strike Team w/5xFire Warriors, Shas’ui (Pulse Pistol)

48pts-Strike Team w/6xFire Warriors, Shas’ui (Pulse Pistol)

80pts-Strike Team w/10xFire Warriors, Shas’ui (Pulse Pistol)

181pts-Ghostkeel w/Ion Raker, 2xBurst Cannons, Advanced Targeting System, Target Lock, 2xStealth Drones

181pts-Ghostkeel w/Ion Raker, 2xBurst Cannons, Advanced Targeting System, Target Lock, 2xStealth Drones

181pts-Ghostkeel w/Ion Raker, 2xBurst Cannons, Advanced Targeting System, Target Lock, 2xStealth Drones

72pts-9xDrones w/2xShield Drones, 7xGun Drones

72pts-9xDrones w/2xShield Drones, 7xGun Drones

Other than the 3 Ion Ghostkeels, the list was all hobby progress completed since the beginning of 8th. One thing that stunk, I forgot to pack the Marker Drone squad, so I was playing without them.

Round 1 was against a fantastic painter in the local club that was running Genestealer Cults. This was before the FAQ, so he had Pask (Warlord) in a Punisher, 2 Eradicators and 2 Exterminators alongside a Manticore in a Cadian Detachment, making them ObSec. Combined with 5 Hybrid squads and a big blob of 20 Purestrains, and 3 Scout Sentinels that were led by a Patriarch and Primus. Deployment was Hammer and Anvil, and we had 5 Objectives. Power Level Kill Points and End of Game Held Objectives were the two Primaries. I aggressivly used the Ghostkeels to Infiltrate into the board, with the idea that they would be able to push back the Ambushing Purestrains away from my squishier Infantry, while not getting killed immediately from the Hybrids. Cults got first turn, only due to fewer drops, and the Ambush was on. The LRBTs were out of range almost everything but the Ghostkeels, and they had a rough time trying to hit them even with Grinding Advance and Orders to reroll 1s to hit. The Hybrids had a rough go of it against Overwatch, but the Primus and a squad of Hybrids knocked a CIR Ghostkeel down to 1 wound. I was very lucky that the Genestealers and Patriarch Ambushed last, and rolled poorly. The Side they could come in from was already heavily populated with my units and his Hybrids, so the Genestealers had to start inside their Deployment Zone. Over the next three turns the Cult Infantry was cut down with Ghostkeel and Pulse fire, the LRBTs started to slowly move forward to be in position to grab the center objectives, and a few squads of Drones and a Squad of Pathfinders were gunned down. In the last turn Pasked Ordered a LRBT to move twice and onto an Objective that would have tied us on that Primary, and all of my Ghostkeels were gone except for one wounded CIR. Between the Commanders, and R’alai It was brought down to 3 Wounds. The savior of the moment was the Ion Rifles on the Pathfinders, Overcharging and bringing it down. I was unable to secure Slay the Warlord, but with the Coldstar grabbing Linebreaker, I won 22-2.

Round 2 was a a showdown against the Black Legion. They had a Sicaran, Nurgle DP, Tzeentch DP, Sorcerer on a Bike, 2 blobs of Cultists, 2 squads of CSM in Rhinos, Hellbrute, 3 CSM Bikers, a Defiler, Maulerfiend, and a Heldrake.The mission was the Relic and Tactical Kill Points (a simple Y/N did you kill a unit this turn [?]version of Kill Points), and the Deployment was Seek and Destroy. I again deployed aggressively with the Ghostkeels’ Infiltration. I had first drop and placed a CIR Ghostkeel directly on the Relic. I then began swinging my battle line wider and putting the other CIRs against the side with his Rhino’s and Bikers, while putting my Fusion up against his Defiler, Helbrute, and Sicaran. The Demon Princes and Sorcerer were in the middle, while the Cultists had spred out in a screen. I was not subtle with the placement of the Infantry and Drone lines in my Deployment Zone, if Blasts or Templates were still a thing , it would have been horrible for me, but the terrain gave me a clear advantage with For the Greater Good, and I know I couldn’t avoid a big brawl over the Relic. First Turn went to the Legion (again I lost T1 due to having more drops than my opponent). I was a bit worried about this one as only Infantry could pick up the Relic, and all my Infantry was very squishy. The Legion advanced toward the center, and formed a semicircle round the Ghostkeel, with the Defiler and Tzeentch DP leading the fray and a Rhino pulling up on the right side of the Relic. His shooting was miserable against the Ghostkeel on the Relic, and it was still standing with 5 wounds when the dust settled. The Defiler assaulted my gunline, past the Relic, and after the storm of Supporting Fire, it had only one Wound remaining! Again the Overcharged Ion Riles were winners, dealing out 5 wounds against something they really are not optimal against. The DP failed its charge against the Ghostkeel on the Relic (needed 5, rolled a 3 even after using a CP reroll). The bottom of Turn 1 was very favorable for the Tau. The Fusion Ghostkeels went to work and downed the Helbrute, the Ion Pathfinders got the Tzeentch DP, the CIRs opened the Rhino with the Marines inside, and the Drones and Fire Warriors made short work of them. Turn three was a mad scramble to get the Tau in Assault and grab the Relic the Bikers and the Heldrake made it into combat on my right flank, but they were not too successful. The Sicaran and the Heldrake both finished off Ghostkeels, and the Maulerfiend charged with the help of Warptime, killing a squad of Drones. The bottom of the turn was about all I needed to eliminate the bigger threats, the Sorcerer, Bikers, Mauler, Cultists and Marines. All that was left were the Nurgle DP, Heldrake and Sicaran. I was unable to chase down his Warlord (the DP), so Tau took a 25-0 win.

Round 3 was for 1st place against a Soup list of Salamanders, Battle Sisters, and Grey Knights. I’ll keep this one brief, as the game was also short. The Missions were Progressive Objectives (scored on player turns), and Attrition (Kill at least 10 Power Level each turn); Deployment was Dawn of War. I centered the Objectives I got to place on one end of the board in an attempt to concentrate the battle in one area like the previous games. My deployment centered most of my Infantry and Drones toward the LoS blocking cover near the right flank where 4 of 6 Objectives were. The Imperium spread across the board with Tac Squads and Scouts, while I tried to limit the Grey Knights landing areas with my Infiltrate. I held the Commander and R’alai in Manta Strike in order to keep them flexible. I lost first turn (again), and that was about it. The combined Turn 1 assault of Celestine, the Grand Master Dreadknight, and Sisters coupled with the deadeye Salamander Lascannon fire, Grey Knight Rapid Fire Stormbolters & Psilencers was about all it took to eliminate all but 5 Pathfinders, and 3 Ghostkeels. I got Celestine with a Ghostkeel, but the Grandmaster tanked 5 Fusion shots and all of R’alai’s shooting. The Strike Squads laughed off all my Gun Drones and Fire Warriors. I was able to wipe the Sisters up, but that was nowhere near good enough. After the top of Turn 2, I had no hope to make a comeback in material or Objectives, and I scooped. Tau loss: 0-27

All in all, it was a great event. It was tight on points between tables 1 & 2 in round three, and not scoring anything bumped me down to 4th on points. With my combined score I still took best overall, which was the same cash-wise as Best General, so I really can’t complain. I hadn’t faced too many hodge-podge Imperial Soup lists yet, and this was a harsh lesson. I was using many new units that I need experience with, but I was happy with the results.

MVPs we absolutely the Ion Rifle Pathfinders and Shield Drones.

The Ion Rifles are cheap and offer a nice risk/reward gambit. I did not loose a single one to a 1 To Hit result all tournament thanks to Markerlights. When outside 15” I Overcharged for 3d3 shots every time, and within 15” I only Overcharged if it made the difference in Wounding on 2+ vs 3+. This way they always delivered above expectations (which were not high, to be fair), but always had the potential to go above and beyond what they should do. I am a firm believer in making your opponent roll more dice to survive whenever possible, and Ion Rifles are great for this, for their low cost. If Pathfinders weren’t good on their own, that would be a different story. Also they are easy to use as ablative wounds if you need to keep your Markerlights around, if needs be.

The Shield Drones worked great inside the Gun Drone Units, making direct targeting of the squad a worse proposition. Simultaniously they increased the footprint of the whole squad, allowing Savior Protocols and R’alai’s Drone Controller to snake out farther. Shrugging off a Lascannon that would have nailed a Ghostkeel for 1d6 is very satisfying.

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