2500pts Tau vs Tyranids Narrative Battle Report

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2500pts Tau vs Tyranids Narrative Battle Report

Post#1 » Jul 29 2010 12:53


Well, well, well... Its time for another one of my Battle reports to celebrate my promotion to Shas'ui. I know they are few and far between, but I do play a large number of games, I just don't usually have the four hours plus it takes to write them up! I decided to present this one differently to my others with no defined turns, just a long piece of prose like a (particularly violent) bedtime story... (This one took about ten hours to write by the way....)

To give you a general idea of the battlefields' appearance before I launch into Old Bear ModeTM, it was a 6' by 4' area with little on it to accommodate the very large armies that would be put on it. There was very little cover in the centre of the map, with a few potholes and a small number of sandbags to create a 'killing ground'. The furthest corner (NorthWest) was covered in small low walls, which it was decided would give a 4+ cover save to infantry and not the monstrous beasties of which there would be undoubtedly plenty. The other corner, (SouthEast) was full of dense ruins offering copious amounts of of cover against any shooting attacks, but being a close combat slaughterhouse.


Tyranid Swarm

Hive Tyrant: (Heavy Venom Cannon, Unspeakable Horror, Adrenal Glands, Implant Attack, Thorax Swarm)
3 x Tyrant Guard

2 x Hive Guard
2 x Hive Guard
3 x Zoanthropes

10 x Termagants: (Adrenal Glands)
10 x Termagants: (Adrenal Glands)
10 x Termagants: (Adrenal Glands)
10 x Termagants: (Adrenal Glands)
12 x Hormagaunts: (Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs)
12 x Hormagaunts: (Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs)

3 Carnifexes: (Heavy Venom Cannon, Adrenal Glands, Bioplasma)
1 Trygon: (Adrenal Gland)

2495 points [15 KPs]

[spoiler=]My opponent, a large smiley guy called Tim explained the curious nature of this list to me when I remarked that he didn't have any Tervigons or Tyrannofexes, or even Mycetic spores explaining that he didn't want to spend any money on converting a Carnifex before GW released a proper model of all of them. I was shocked as all of the Tyranid lists I read are normally off YTTH and revolve around the former two units but not this time it seemed.[/spoiler]

Tau Forces (Kau'yon Hunter Cadre)

Shas’O: (Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Plasma, Multi-tracker, Shield Drone, Shield Drone, Target Lock)
Bodyguard: (2 Shas'vre: Burst Cannons, Missile Pods, Targeting Arrays, Multi-trackers)
Shas’O R’alai

XV8 'Crisis' Team: (3 Shas'ui: Burst Cannons, Missile Pods, Multi-trackers, Shas’vre)
XV8 'Crisis' Team: (3 Shas'ui: Burst Cannons, Missile Pods, Multi-trackers, Shas’vre)

Fire Warriors: (8 Shas’la, Markerlight on Shas’ui)
Fire Warriors: (8 Shas’la, Markerlight on Shas’ui)
Fire Warriors: (8 Shas’la, on Shas’ui)
Fire Warriors: (8 Shas’la, Shas’ui)

XV9 'Hazard' Team: (2 Shas'vre: Phased Ion Guns, Target lock, Blacksun Filter)
XV9 'Hazard' Team: (2 Shas'vre: Fusion Cascade Blasters, Target Lock, Blacksun FIlter)
Pathfinders: (8 Shas'la)
[Devilfish APC]: (Disruption Pod, Smart Missile System)

XV88 'Broadside' Battlesuits: (3 Shas'ui, Advanced Stabilisation Systems, 1 x Plasma Rifles Upgrade [On Shas’vre: Target lock])
XV88 'Broadside' Battlesuits: (3 Shas'ui, Advanced Stabilisation Systems, 3 x Plasma Rifles Upgrade [On Shas’vre: Target lock])

2496 points [15KPs]

Prematch Ramble and List Justification and Explanation:

[spoiler=]The list I selected for this game was my vague attempt at a fluffy Kau'yon list. I have been trying to favour this particular approach to Tau warfare recently, with the almost immobile Broadsides being given a movement boost by the ASS (For old time's sake). I normally choose a much more in your face approach (you can probably see this from other Battle Reports, with my Modus Operandi being similar to Mont'ka striking hard when the enemy draws close enough by using my Helios XV8 Battlesuits to punish anything and everything (Basically hybrid Tau).
Normally, I despise not taking two pathfinder teams at levels higher than 2000 points, but I wanted to try out Shas'O R'alai especially in a game we had planned for so long in advance. Having looked forward to this game for a long time, I rewrote the list several times, but settled on the Crisis Suit configurations seen here, with the Burst Cannons giving weight of fire and the Missile Pods providing longer range fire power against the larger beasties. I had reasoned that the two XV9 teams were needed in the list to compliment the use of O'Ralai, but I wanted to back him up using my standard Shas'O (seen in my project gallery).
For those that notice, I never take Kroot in my lists as in a few trial games they have failed to pull their weight (eaten by Scarab swarms, Guardsmen, you name it...) with their 'hole' being filled by Gue'vesa if needed.

I have only played the new Tyranids twice before this game, once at my FLGS where I was eaten by an outflanking Genestealer army that due to careful model arrangement managed to assault almost everything in my army on the turn they arrived, inevitably leaving me with an army reduced to ribbons (bar a hammerhead) which was promptly wrecked by a lucky Zoanthrope Warp Lance. The second game was a very interesting affair with the Doom of Malan'tai being used, and very quickly reduced to a pile of molten slag (Thank the Greater Good for the Railgun!) ultimately drawing the game with 2 objectives each and a contested centre where my Fire Warriors were in combat with a squad of Termagants.

This game (against a totally different opponent) was going to be my third game above 2000 points with my Tau, my third against 'Nids and my first against Tim, who was very much looking forward to seeing what his 'fluffy Gaunt Carpet list' was capable of against the Fire Caste's best.[/spoiler]


We rolled a Spearhead deployment to play annihilation, with me deploying first and picking the corner that was effectively tailor made to fit my tactic of sit and wait. The Broadsides were placed on a nice hill at the rear of my deployment zone, covered by two squads of Fire Warriors, placed at the foot of the hill. This gave the Broadsides a good clear LoS to the centre of the battlefield. The two Crisis teams, my vanilla Shas'O and his bodyguard were placed near the front of the 'Arrow' behind two Fire Warrior teams which were against some sand bags. Shas'O R'alai and the PIG Hazard team were placed to help in covering the left hand Flank, whilst the Pathfinders and their Warfish were placed on the right, covered by the FCB Hazard team to give short-range fire support.
The Tyranid deployment filled the deployment zone, with the three Carnifexes being placed at the extreme edges of the deployment area, and the area around being filled with Gaunts, Termagants behind the Hormagaunts, with the Hive Tyrant and his bodyguard in the centre, providing a large bubble of synapse to ensure the brood was kept in check. The Zoanthropes and the Hive Guard were placed towards the rear of the deployment zone, providing synapse cover as well as longer range firepower. The Trygon was kept in reserve, presumably to shock the Tau by arriving by deepstrike.

(I seized the initiative)

Glossary of Tau Terms:

In the course of this battle report, I made copious use of the Tau Xenolexicon on the Second Sphere website, using many terms from there as well as assembling a few of my own from words that as yet have no assigned meaning or from other components shown there. These are as follows:

Kor'elan'suam'gerosh'i'nen: Pulse Submunitions Rifle
Kor'saum'nen: Airbursting Fragmentation Projector
Y'he'gue: Gaunts (generic)
Y'he'aun'an'gerosh'i: Zoanthrope
Nen'kles'tak: Railgun
Y'he'du'eio'jeth: Carnifex
Sho'ka'era: Plasma Rifles
Bentu'tak'era: Smart Missile Systems
Y'he'rra'nan'era: Lictor
Xor'vesa'gerosh'i: Hazard Battlesuit
Shas'la'shan: Pathfinders
Kor'vesa'shan: Marker Drone
Y'he'fio'ka: Trygon

La'rua: Team/ Squad
'era: Denotes Plural ie Xor'vesa'era: Crisis Battlesuits

The Last Night on Fel'ar'than
(Brought to you by 'Old Bear ModeTM')

It was too warm, the steep sides of the mountains surrounding the small stream were like giant mirrors, shining with thawing ice, the quickly melting snow coating the frozen rock in the shadowy valley below was slush underfoot. The small settlement on the plain was a peaceful town before the invasion, concerned merely with farming Ki'io and moving the produce to the local Fire Caste city annually. The high altitude and protective mountains had been the settlement's saviour in the earlier stages of the invasion by the Tyranids, and it was the only place left untainted by the Tyranid, but the spores and microscopic parasites produced by the black spires vomiting forth the atmospheric taint could reach everywhere. The town was now becoming something altogether different, the streets were deserted, the once beautifully shaped domes of the municipal buildings embroidered with the subtle yet beautiful artwork of the Fio were being eaten away by the toxic cloud emanating from beyond the mountains, where the once lush jungles and vast cities had been laid to rot and consumed by the Ripper Swarms, feeding the belly of the Y'he to strike this small planet.
The glass in windows and exposed skin on corpses of U'it was slowly being corroded away by the continual torrents of rain filled with digestive enzymes and acids falling on the valley, exposing the skeletons of beasts and eroding architecture. Small pools of water had began to appear where the now toxic snow and ice had melted, digging away at the sedimentary rock creating large craters. In the centre of the settlement, where large warehouses had once stored food to feed the large cities beyond the valley, there remained only a few low walls, eaten away by the worsening weather patterns.

Shas'O Mon J'kaara had been to this area many times previously to supervise the transport of the foodstuffs through the mountains during more peaceful times as a Shas'saal, but that was a good many Tau'cyr ago. Now, the roads through the mountains were filled with Tau refugees, Por and Fio fleeing the alien menace to the last remaining off-planet spaceport in Upt'vash'ya'fio that was wedged high in the mountains. He and his cadre of grizzled Shas had been left to defend the rear, acting as the last hope for the Tau'fann to escape. His Xor'vesa lay as an empty shell inline with those of the other Shas'ui and above in the remnants of the planet's Shas'ar'tol, the weapons on the suit dripping with melting snow and the armour scratched deeply by talons and claws. Across the bunker, the enigmatic but highly passionate Shas'O R'alai sat quietly meditating, with the few Shas'vre remaining from his prized fearless XV9 teams around a statue of a majestic Aun'ui who had been the leader of this planet, the carefully beaten bronze sheltered by the thick ceiling of the bunker. They had lost a good many Shas'la covering the flight of the Tau'fann up the small road to the town that represented the final vestiges of the planet they had fought so hard to claim from the Be'gel as part of the Third Sphere Expansion. The few remaining Shas'la were re-performing Ta'lissera, with a few already featuring fearful looks into the bright sunlight outside of the bunker where the heavy, honey-like rain was finally halting. There was silence, bar the steady dripping of the water and the bunker was very still.

On the far side of the town, the Broadside Shas'vre Sho Vishai waited with the other members of his La'rua, the Xor'vesa communication and augmented visualisation systems were overloaded with information from the Kor'vesa'shan which were feeding data directly into the cockpit where he was. As the rain stopped, the video feeds and transmissions became clearer and the scarred landscape outside the mountains was visible, capillary towers and spires of a hideous biological nature were all he could see. One particular Kor'vesa'shan was heading down the valley to where it became a flowing river, eventually out to the sea, where the majestic floating cities of the Por'sin had been, before the Y'he monsters had torn them down. Watching the video feeds from these drones, Sho could see the ruined landscape, with trees melting away and plants blackening under the spore clouds and the occasional skeletal remains of a fallen soldier or civilian, often sporting precious objects held close to the body, then he saw it.
A hideous Y'he creature carefully camouflaged, approximately four Tor'lek tall with large chitinous barbs and vicious tendrils sticking out of its body at odd angles was moving up the valley. The Gue'vesa that had been part of the Kau'ui had called these creatures 'Lictors' and they were a portent of worse threats to come. He quickly ordered the other Kor'vesa'shan to return with a flick of his finger and activated the Xor'vesa's communication system.

Shas'O Mon J'kaara knew that as the communicator sounded off on every one of the Shas'ui in the Shas'ar'tol, the information obtained by the Kor'vesa'shan would not be good. He activated his microphone and spoke quietly and precisely, and asked;
'Shas'vre Sho Vishai, what do the Kor'vesa'shan show?' Nervously the Shas'vre replied,
'A sole Y'he'rra'nan'era, a lictor, harbinger of their greater forces, we must prepare for the worst to come.' Quickly, the Shas'ar'tol of the Kau'ui began to mobilise, climbing into battlesuits, with the exception of the Xor'vesa'gerosh'i teams, which stood there quietly conversing with Shas'O R'alai coordinating battle plans. Seeing that Mon J'kaara wished to talk, the group was dispersed with a wave of the solemn Shas'O's hand. Mon J'kaara walked closer to Ves'you'alai and asked,
'How long do you think we can hold against the tide of Y'he? We need only give the Por and Fio a few hours to escape in the last transport Mantas from Upt'Vash'ya'fio, do you believe it is possible?' but Ves'you'alai did not answer, he merely reached into the pocket of his jumpsuit and pulled out a small, delicate flower in a glass bottle. He spoke mournfully in the tone of a Shas many his years,
'This is the last flower of it's kind, coming from the bottom of a valley on a planet eaten by the Y'he, it only grew there and they will never be seen again, I carry it in my Xor'vesa to remind myself that even the smallest, most beautiful things can survive these creatures. We will survive this fight, the Y'he will not consume us.' Mon J'kaara nodded, and Ves'you on, 'My La'rua will cover the rear if we need to allow you to escape, we have had our fair share of battles, it is only just.' Mon J'kaara replied,
'We will stand together as brothers to fight them off, can you split your La'rua'era into two groups with one on either flank of our formation?' R'alai merely nodded and then the Kel'shan commander then walked off in the direction of his Xor'vesa'gerosh'i, the bottle in his hand.
Grimly, Mon J'kaara turned himself away from the Shas'ar'tol preparing themselves and climbed into his own Xor'vesa where after relaxing, he activated the two Shield drones which hummed into life, their little anti-grav plates keeping them aloft. The front of the battlesuit sealed and he moved out into the destroyed settlement, ready to face the Y'he.

Sho Vishai was venting the cooling systems on his Nen'kles'tak'era readying them for the inevitable combat. His La'rua was following suit, but their older model XV88's were showing their age, taking longer to perform this simple task, his XV88-2 battlesuit was one of the last produced before the invasion, armed with Plasma Rifles rather than the standard Bentu'tak. He was still monitoring the video feed from the Kor'vesa'shan which was showing a living carpet of Y'he, chittering around the feet of much several larger beasts all of which seemed to pay no attention to the flying camera drone as it moved through the air above them, allowing him and the other members of the Shas'ar'tol to analyse the composition of the horde they had to fight off. In the centre of the swarm there was one very large creature, which was surrounded by large thickly armoured beasts resembling large blocks of chitinous armour, bred specifically to protect the Hive Tyrant at the centre. He spoke into the communicator again, but directed his message to the Shas'vre of the other Broadside La'rua,
'We should direct our fire towards the larger beasts, allowing the Shas'la to eliminate the smaller creatures, do you think?' Almost immediately the friendly voice of the Shas'vre, a good Shas called Kai'myr said,
'Whoever's La'rua claims the most Y'he, will buys the next meal on the Manta.' Sho Vishai smiled inside his Xor'vesa, the first time that Kai'rotaa, and replied jokingly, 'You bet, this will make the whole thing a lot more entertaining!'.
For the next few minutes, the two Shas'vre's exchanged polite but nervous conversation over the communication system whilst the Kau'ui moved into position around them. The Shas'la were in two large groups, one in front of the Broadside La'rua'era and the other on the left hand flank inside a ruined fish restaurant, whilst the Xor'vesa'era moved into position with Shas'O Mon J'kaara leading his two faithful Shas'vre bodyguards, their Battlesuits featuring the advanced targeting equipment allowing them to wreak as much havoc as possible. The XV9 La'rua'era under Shas'O R'alai were in cover behind some dark ruins, still showing a little of the Fio'sorral that had been lovingly put there by a talented craftsman many years before.
After waiting a good few Rai'kor the sound of bestial snarling and alien chittering reached the ears of the Shas'la on the front line, prompting them to ready their Pulse rifles. The living morass of Y'he surged forwards intent on killing the last remnants of the Fel'ar'than Kavaal and the Tau'fann fleeing up the mountains. It began to rain again.

The wave of Y'he were terrifying, the smaller beasts snarled and yelped as they ran across the battlefield, pushing themselves through deep crevices and holes in the ground. Y'he'gue with small guns and talons leapt forwards, in huge groups of larger than twenty individuals to feast on the Tau holding the line in the ruins of the small town. The Shas'la'shan had already begun their task of pinpointing targets for the Kau'ui to pick off before they hit their lines, painting the front line of taloned Gaunts with markerlights, guiding the Pulse Rifle armed Shas'la to pick off sixteen of the Hormagaunts, causing a significant dent in the front of the Y'he swarm. Jetting forwards behind the Shas'la holding the front of the line, the two La'rua of Crisis Battlesuits and the Warfish unleashed a hail of missiles and bullets to kill the remaining Y'he'gue with talons, leaving the maelstrom of smaller beasts somewhat diminished but just as threatening.

Shas'vre Kai'myr looked at the rapidly increasing devastation before him, the Shas'la succumbing to the slaughter as thick rain pelted down, small beetles and alien obscenities fired from prehensile weapons eating their way through a couple of the brave soldiers, who did not break. The Broadside La'rua'era took aim and fired at a huge Carnifex, punching huge holes in the creature's side, spilling ichor out onto the teeming Y'he'gue who seemed to revel in the potential slaughter. Disappointed that the hulking beast did not fall, he spoke over the communicator to Sho Vishai in the other La'rua of Xor'vesa,
'The larger creatures seem to have adapted to our weaponry, how best we deal with this situation? The Y'he'du'eio'jeth we just shot is leaking vital fluids but does not appear to be stopping!' He saw the other La'rua achieve the same result, except hitting this beast in the head and upper chest cavity, exposing some of its internal organs,which were promptly blown apart by a huge projectile with a thick white smoky trail, that continued through the creatures rear exoskeleton and exploding, the tungsten shell claiming a single Y'he'gue. Looking for the source of the shot, he spotted Shas'O R'alai and muttered into the communicator his congratulations. The Xor'vesa still vibrating from the force of discharging the Railguns, he ordered his La'rua to move along the hill, the gyroscopes and strengthened clamps in the legs of the suit maintaining steady focus on the Y'he pouring into the ruins of the town.

Shas'la Bap'yanoi was yelling loudly as fired his pulse rifle into the depths of the large swarm of Y'he when he saw a gigantic alien with flickering mandibles contort its face into a rictus-like mockery of a smile, and look directly at him, through the lenses of his helmet, through his eyes, into his very mind.
He screamed,
'Run! For the Greater Good run!' the entire La'rua felt his irrational fear in his voice as the message, distorted over the Infantry Communication System came through into their helmets with a haze of static. The Hie Tyrant squeezed the large fleshy tube in its' lower front limbs and a jet of thick, viscous venom landed on the armour of the Fire Warriors, where it quickly permeated the nanoweave Fio'dr and into the skin, quickly liquefying the tissues it ravaged, causing the entire squad to collapse, twitching as the evil black liquid worked its way through their bodies, spilling out of the minute articulating spaces in the armour onto the ground where it immediately caused the grass to blacken and die. As they fell, the Y'he rushed forwards into the gaps of their fallen, not sparing any quarter for the Fire Caste's least fortunate.

Shas'O Mon J'kaara could see the entire battlefield from his vantage point, floating some six Tor'lek'era above the ground, his Xor'vesa performing well in the heat of the battle, flanked by his Kor'vesa and Shas'vre bodyguards, the Drones deflecting any of the organic projectiles that sped his way, fired by any Y'he'gue. At the rear of the Y'he swarm, three sinisterly floating Zoanthropes moved forward, sweeping through the corpses of the dead Y'he accompanied by four large monstrosities with large chitinous armour plates. Quickly recalling the Shas'ar'tol's data on the Y'he he found mention of these creatures with a thought, identified them, and used his Xor'vesa's visual systems to better document them. Whilst adding this data, he felt a huge impact in the side of his suit, and the huge wave of relief that came from the onboard medical treatment and saw to his shock a huge thorn-like projectile wriggling inside his Xor'vesa. Seizing his pulse pistol, he fired at the projectile, killing it. Angered by the intrusion into his sealed cockpit, he fired his Kor'saum'nen expertly into the depths of a Y'he'gue group to see ten of the small creatures crumple under the intelligent bomblets shouting,
'Ken'rai, I am Ea'Viera'sha'is!'

After the success of the markerlights from the previous volley, Shas'la'shan Kais Kaara, crouching in his rapidly submerging foxhole in the centre of the Tau Kau'ui hailed Shas'O R'alai on the communicator,
'My esteemed Shas'O, which targets do the Shas'ar'tol wish to engage next? We are capable of targeting the entire Y'he swarm at this moment.' There was a pause, then the war hero responded with,
'Markerlight the Y'he'gue broods, we should be able to thin their numbers somewhat, my own Kor'vesa'shan are targeting the central group of ranged Y'he'gue.' Kais Kaara responded positively and then relayed the orders to the Shas'la'shan who proceeded to focus their Markerlights on the closest group of Y'he'gue, which were quickly cut down by the heavy duty Xor'vesa La'rua's gunfire. Still watching the cluster of Y'he'gue, Shas'O R'alai's Pulse Submunitions Rifle fired a small projectile, its microprocessor guided by the Markerlights from his Kor'vesa'shan into the centre of the swarm where it exploded in the group of Y'he still surging forwards killing all it touched.
At the rear of the battlefield, Shas'vre Sho Vishai shouted into the communicator,
'Fire!' and all of the Xor'vesa'era in his La'rua jolted as the huge railguns fixed to the arms of the battlesuit discharged their projectiles with a gout of blue flames and a deafening whip-crack sound into the wounded Carnifex, the monster collapsed, its' exoskeleton blown apart by the massive trauma from the Nen'kles'tak'era. Next to him on the hill, the second salvo from Shas'vre Sho Vishais' Broadside team blew three deep holes in the last living Carnifexes' body, again failing to kill the creature, causing it to seep thick black blood over some of the remaining Y'he'gue, combining with the sickly thick rainfall that was pouring down on the battlefield, filling small craters from semi-intelligent missiles with the disgusting mixture. The Shas'la in front of the Broadside phalanx watching the unfolding battle ahead were nervously preparing their Pulse rifles for combat, and Sho Vishai could see them shaking. Only a few of these Shas'la were still standing rooted to the spot, paralysed by their own fear, he thought of them as he ordered his suit to vent the Nen'kles'tak'era chambers to prepare firing once again. Suddenly, on the dashboard of his Xor'vesa, the seismic activity sensors suddenly went haywire, showing readings off the scale, he quickly reset the system only to find that when he did so, a massive scythed Y'he monster burst out of the ground in front of the Shas'la, behind the first line of the Kau'ui's defence, A Trygon, or in Tau a Y'he'va'fio'ka. He knew the creature well, having faced several throughout the campaign on this small planet. The Trygon wormed its way out of the ground like a maggot from a wound, electrical impulses streaking from its' body frying six of the nearest Shas'la causing the soldiers to flee in terror from their worst nightmares.

Shas'vre Lynu Moriin was soaring above the chaos that was below, Shas'O Mon J'kaara was wounded, he had killed many of the Y'he'gue responsible but still more was to come. He had muted his communicator to all bar the Shas'ar'tol, the screams of pain from the Shas'la dissolving inside their suits was enough to make any battle-hardened veterans feel uneasy. In the past, Lynu had fought the Be'gel, the Gue'la and the Ar'cea, but none were anywhere near as ferocious or terrifying as the Y'he. Below him, he saw more Shas'la fall victim to the thick venom produced by the massive Hive Tyrant, labelled by his suits' semi-intelligent optics in vivid yellow, all of the soldiers contorting in great pain as they were drenched in the lethal liquid from its chitinous tube. The remaining Carnifex was severely wounded, clearly in great pain was moving slowly towards the Tau lines dragging its left leg whilst, ichor, blood and other liquids oozing from cavernous holes in its' chest, roaring loudly. Shas'O R'alai's voice came clear over the communicator,
'I have targeted the last Y'he'du'eio'jeth, I will be firing momentarily, be careful around the creature, it seems to be getting ready to discharge a venom payload.'
The huge tungsten round that fired from Shas'O R'alai's Kor'elan'suam'gerosh'i'nen blew a massive hole in the creatures' head, causing it to topple over, a final twitch discharging the venom inside it's weapon all over Lynu's La'rua. One by one, the two Shas'ui's vital signs shut off, the venom having found its' way inside the suits via the small holes from the insects and the corroding rainfall. Lynu was much more fortunate and flew further upwards, raising his Burst Cannon to target the Y'he.

Shas'la'shan Kais Kaara, now waist deep in honey thick rain was becoming increasingly agitated. Small bugs and indescribable projectiles fired at his La'rua now littered the ground around them, making the pool they were crouching in even more dangerous. The Y'he were still advancing despite the massive punishment the Tau had inflicted on the swarm, they just seemed to never end. He could just make out the last three Shas'la at the forefront of the fight, shooting the monstrosities that approached the Tau lines. Just behind the remains of a broken Carnifex the three Zoanthropes floated malevolently, seemingly gathering light in around themselves, the spines and chimneys on their backs sucking in power from around them.

He blinked. There was a massive explosion he could see through his eyelids.

The Warfish that was previously beside their foxhole had evaporated, leaving only a smoking hole and a few pieces of twisted tank behind. Grimacing, Kais Kaara barked at the squad over the communicator to target them with the markerlights.

The explosion from the Warfish was seen all across the battlefield, and it was no surprise to Sho Vishai that they were deemed the next highest priority by the Shas'la'shan lit up on his optics with five Markerlights, and all of the Broadsides on his order fired at the distended aliens, every projectile hitting home, bypassing the insidious warp field, shattering the chitinous exoskeletons to pieces, spraying chunks of viscous yellow Y'he brain matter and black ichor all over the remaining Y'he'gue and the last few Shas'la at the forefront of the engagement. All of the Shas'la infront of his Xor'vesa La'rua took aim with their Pulse Rifles against the Trygon, peppering it with their shots in a withering hail of pain. The creature writhed in agony, chunks of chitin falling away from its body, exposing the fragile flesh underneath where the Fusion Cascade armed Xar'vesa'gerosh'i fired their weapons, cooking the monster from the inside out, cracking the biological armour, spilling copious amounts of black ichor over themselves and the Shas'la. Triumphant, the shocked Shas'la ran forwards preparing their rifles for another fusillade against the other Y'he creatures.

Shas'vre Lynu Moriin, sole survivor of his La'rua unleashed cold fury against the remaining Y'he'gue, killing five, leaving a scant four remaining from the original carpet of sixty-four Y'he'gue, these were quickly removed by the other Xor'vesa team, who seemed to be relatively unscathed from the swirling combat. The thick rain still falling was beginning to corrode the bodies of the fallen Y'he and Tau alike, leaving skeletal remains looking more nightmarish than ever before. Looking around the battlefield he saw two of the large impaler cannon wielding Y'he fall to the fire from the La'rua accompanying Shas'O R'alai, and saw Mon J'kaara and his bodyguard take down another two monstrous creatures, closely resembling a solid block of biological armour, exposing the side of the Hive Tyrant to the Tau. The creature, clearly enraged, threw itself onto the last three Shas'la at the forefront of the battle, consuming the Shas'ui whole and splitting the Shas'la cleanly in half with its vast scything talons.
Lynu could have sworn that the monstrously alien face was laughing as it sprayed the full Xor'vesa La'rua with viscous venom, quickly killing all three Shas, their armour weakened by the digestive rainfall, the venom seeped into the Xor'vesa's cockpit slowly liquefying the bodies of the pilots, causing them to crash the battlesuits in a flurry of sparks, the fuel sources and missiles igniting, swathing the whole area in an insidious flickering light.

With the successful dispatch of all of his allocated targets, Shas'la'shan Kais Kaara was pleased with his team's efforts. The few remaining targets were still incredibly lethal despite being severely thinned in number. With a huge effort, he targeted the Hive Tyrant and its remaining bodyguard with his markerlights, signalling them to be dispatched by the Broadsides' Nen'kles'tak'era. The whip-crack of the Railguns was followed by the explosion of the last block of chitin guarding the Tyrant as well as the sickening sound of breaking chitin spires, which sloughed off the creature's back. The monster was visibly hurt by this salvo and was limping, but sparing no mercy the members of the Phased Ion Guns XV9 La'rua fired, the vicious ion particles searing its flesh further as it bayed in agony from the incredible power of the weaponry. Shas'O R'alai fired his Pulse Submunition Rifle's High energy round again at the creature, and it blew apart, chunks of alien meat and sprays of ichor going everywhere, mixing with the rain and the cloud of bugs that flew from the beast's carapace, creating a thick sludge that blocked vision through the lenses on the Shas'la'shan La'rua's helmets.

Shas'O Mon J'kaara, his side painful from the earlier intrusive projectile, soared over the burning wreckage of the Xar'vesa La'rua with his bodyguard and raked the remaining Y'he monsters bodies with their weaponry, the creatures' chitinous armour cracking under the high force of his Plasma Rifles and the internal organs being destroyed by the fire from his bodyguard's burst cannons.
With the death of the last of the Y'he creatures, the Shas'ar'tol ordered a sound off on the communication system. The losses had been heavy, but there were survivors, still holding the rear. They had achieved their objective. They had served the Greater Good.

End result: All Tyranids dead (15KPs), Moderate Tau losses (5KPs)

Tau Victory


Shas'O R'alai is a beast, he killed a very large number of models by himself, being responsible for the killing blow on several monstrous creatures. I also freaking love Broadsides. I love XV9s especially when they are supported by effective Pathfinder targeting (I averaged about 6 Markerlights a turn from those guys!).
I love writing something like this but it takes ages!

I hope you have enjoyed reading this...

Any comments? (Any Spelling errors please alert me)

I have edited this post as Wolfs16 suggested, apologies to anyone who lost faith. The Glossary of Tau terms has been truncated and is now located above the Report. Peace out, X.
Last edited by Xanadu on Jul 30 2010 03:07, edited 1 time in total.

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Posts: 2748

Re: 2500pts Tau vs Tyranids Narrative Battle Report

Post#2 » Jul 29 2010 09:38

This is definitely a cool battle report! I would have loved to see some pictures though. However, I did have a problem reading this. Your use of Tau words, while adding to the story, eventually begin to detract from its readability. While you have a key at the bottom, the reader doesn’t know it’s there till the end. And having to go back and forth to check what is being talked about gets tiring. I actually started to skim through most of the story because I was so lost.

You are using eight and nine syllable words regularly; sometimes twice in the same sentence! We know Tau suits by their codex designation: XV8, XV9 and so on. Granted, we use Tau words like Xor’vesa (with an “o,” not an “a”) at times to represent a battlesuit, but that is a simple work compared to Xar'vesa'nen'kles'tak. I had a really hard time keeping up with what was going simply because the huge words made it hard to follow. And words like Por'sin and Fio'sin, while having a basis in Tau language are largely unnecessary since the castes are usually referred to by their name without anything added. Adding the “sin” is a bit confusing because it is not really something most readers are used to seeing. Most of the time, I had no idea what actually happened, since the names of the equipment is written in Tau and not easily understood. Also, using Tau names for the Nids makes it extremely hard to follow, since your story is probably the first time most of us have ever read those names. While they are Imperial designations, using the codex names would really help your reading know what’s going on.

I think to that the story could benefit from some simplifying. It is clear that you wanted to pack a lot of Tau terms in, but it often feels forced. Consider this sentence:

'Whoever's La'rua claims the most Y'he, will buy the other's La'rua the next meal on the Manta.'

That could be changed simply to, “Whoever's La'rua claims the most Y'he, buys the next meal on the Manta.” Yeah, you lose some Tau words, but it makes it much easier to read and doesn’t sound forced or awkward.

And look at some of the these sentences. They are so complicated that I had to read them a few times to understand what had happened.
Still watching the cluster of Y'he'gue, Shas'O R'alai's Kor'elan'suam'gerosh'i'nen fired a small projectile, guided by the markerlight targeting information from his Kor'vesa'shan it exploded in the centre of a group of Y'he still surging forwards killing all it touched.

'Fire!' and all of the Xar'vesa'nen'kles'tak'era in his La'rua jolted as the huge railguns fixed to the arms of the battlesuit discharged their projectiles with a gout of blue flames and a deafening whip-crack sound into the wounded Y'he'du'eio'jeth, the monster collapsed, its' exoskeleton blown apart by the massive trauma from the nen'kles'tak'era.

The Tau words just blur together and the reader begins loosing interest. Complexity is a barrier to participation. Adding huge words that the reader has to look up every other sentence will likely make most folks stop reading.

Please don't be discouraged by any of this. You have a great story, but if you simplified it, it would be much easier and enjoyable to read.

(Oh and I see the Tau have come across the delicious Ba'gel in their battles. The Ork, known to the Tau as “Be’gel” are not as tasty though. ;) )

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Re: 2500pts Tau vs Tyranids Narrative Battle Report

Post#3 » Jul 30 2010 02:20

Thanks for all this feedback Wolfs16. I really appreciate you spending the time to go through it all (as well to anyone who has read it but not commented).

I will be editing the original post to your suggestions in a little while. Having spent a very long time getting it hammered out, I was becoming very tired by the end.

I feel I must apologise for, and explain the huge amounts of fabricated Tau words as well as the normal ones. As I am almost fluent in three languages and strong in another two, Tau was just another one to add to the list. I have a high affinity with this kind of thing (my brain just works this way) and the few Tau words I added to my vocabulary were so easy for me to get used to I could just reel them off now, without even looking at them beforehand, something I almost always forget whilst speaking to others (as happened here.).

I am glad you enjoyed the battle report though. I was going to take photographs of the whole thing, but my girlfriend appropriated my camera for the day when she went to central London with a few friends without telling me, which was of course very kind of her, especially as this game was such a huge success :(.

Thanks for the pointer about Xar'vesa, I could have sworn it was Xor before I checked the Xenolexicon, where it is Xar.

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Yami Kero
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Re: 2500pts Tau vs Tyranids Narrative Battle Report

Post#4 » Jul 30 2010 04:03

Wow Xanadu! When I read it I could sense that you put a lot of effort into it. And that effort brought forth a great story.

The beginning was especially good. You know how to set up a scene and background. The corrosive rain, the village itself, the mood of the soldiers and commanders and their feelings regarding the upcoming battle are all excellent pieces of prose. You even managed to give a new character, 'O R'alai, a very credible part. I really think that a war veteran like him talks and acts the way you described. Very well done.

I'm not going to let you go without critique though. ;)

While the introduction was top notch, I felt that the report section was of a slightly lesser quality. I think that if you where write about the battle without trying to write down a report you would have create a great story. Now I feel that the report section was somehow a bit forced and that makes it lose the high quality your introduction has.

Also, it is quite hard to keep track of what happened in the game because of the 'old bear mode', but I join you in blaming you girlfriend for taking your camera :) .

Furthermore, I think Wolfs16 is right about the huge number of Tau word. I readily admit that 9 out of 10 times I had no idea if a Shas'la fired a tactical nuke or if a XV9 fired a pulse pistol :( . Words like years, locations, names and casts make the story compelling and fluffy, but words for weapons make the 'action' section slow down because you have to reread and recheck the word index while instead you want to keep on reading to know what will happen next.

So to sum up, you have great writing skills and its a shame that it is overshadowed by to many Tau words and a battle report. I think that if you were to 'simply' write a story, like you did in the beginning, you would get a honorary seat in the ATT library.

Keep up the good work and I cant wait to hear more about your O'R'alai.

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Re: 2500pts Tau vs Tyranids Narrative Battle Report

Post#5 » Jul 30 2010 05:13

@Yami Kero

Thanks for your compliments and your criticisms, it all helps in the end.

To answer your comment about the lack of understanding as to what was going on, I did try to put the report into Vassal, where it was a lot easier to get to grips with the casualties etcetera. However, there are no sprites in Vassal for the XV9 battlesuits, a Trygon and even M. R'alai.

The edits that I have made should make it a bit easier to comprehend, but I reasoned that the larger amount of Tau words made it feel more like a Tau report as opposed to one about Spays Mahreens where they talk all proper.

My next report (Mech Eldar vs Tau) will be done with Vassal diagrams when I figure out how to use it properly because of the refusal of my opponent to allow me to play Forgeworld units. It will be written in a more conventional style.

Who knows, I still have some time before work to hammer out another short story... :D

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Re: 2500pts Tau vs Tyranids Narrative Battle Report

Post#6 » Aug 03 2010 11:49

A ton of effort has gone into this and it's much appreciated...but do you plan to post up a more conventional batrep alongside the flufftacious one for those of us who're interested in the performance of units vs the newer Tyranids? :)

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Re: 2500pts Tau vs Tyranids Narrative Battle Report

Post#7 » Aug 03 2010 12:01

You're welcome!

Ummm, I am currently writing up one versus Mechdar, but I was the Eldar (with Diagrams!) and my housemate was playing as my Tau.

There are a few battle reports versus Necrons I have kicking around all using XV9s, but they are mostly losses. I will post one up if you want to see it but expect a delay of about a week, I have lots on my plate at the moment.

I have only used Shas'O R'alai once, in this game infact, but as his arm fell off, I needed to do some surgery to keep him in a playable condition.

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