So here I am thinking I would be facing an Imperial Guard army at the 1750 points range, when I’m suddenly told I’m going to play in a 3-way battle at 750 points against yet untold armies. This means I need to cough up a list really quickly so I can get into the fray. To add to the confusion I have no idea of how the field will look like.
As we’ll be using the rules for the Broken Alliance scenario (those unfamiliar with the mission may find its ruleset at p.272 of the rulebook), I’ll need to be able to both put a scoring unit on at least another objective-and that’s while defending mine from all an any assaulters. This means sturdy, mobile troops; which means mounted Fire Warriors. I quickly get two 6-man teams equipped with Pulse Carbines, and equip their Devilfish Transports with the almighty Disruption Pod plus Sensor Spines, as I just cannot risk losing mobility while trying to get to an objective.
The most important factor of the mission’s main rules, beside the scoring units which are needed in order to win the game, is that you HQ unit has to be deployed close to the center of the field- which is one of the 4 objectives. What this means for a Tau player is, your commander is most likely going to die on the first turn. So I opt to equip him with missile pods and fusion blaster, so that if he was ever to act before dying he could at list try to instakill another general before dropping; though his main role would be the same as the other suits I plan on purchasing: destroy enemy transports. I doubt I’ll face anything that a Missile Pod can’t stop in its tracks at this point range, and the fusion blasters will help in discouraging enemies from trying to take mine.
I decide I’d be better off without a Hammerhead as for the same points I can get another scoring unit and a monat to much the same effect shooting-wise, while giving me more units and flexibility. I opt for an 8-man Fire Warrior team equipped with pulse rifles instead of a Kroot Kindred as I have no idea how much cover there will be on the table (or if I will get any to place my units into), and make the monat a Shas’Vre so I can bring the Airbusting Fragmentation Projector to the fray- which will hopefully help me denying an objective to the enemy.
After I spent my spare points with a Sniper Drone Team in order to get some minimal markerlight support plus some medium strength weaponry, this is how my list looks like:
Shas'El Commander, Fireforge7
Crisis Mesme Team, Fireforge with Fireforge7 Team Leader
Crisis Monat, Shas’Vre with AFP and Twin-Linked Missile Pod
Fire Warrior Team Spada Bravo, 6 Fire Warriors with Pulse Carbines
Devilfish: Disruption Pod, Sensor Spines
Fire Warrior Team Daga Bravo, 6 Fire Warriors with Pulse Carbines
Devilfish: Disruption Pod, Sensor Spines
Fire Warrior Team Spada, 8 Fire Warriors with Pulse Rifles
Sniper Drone Team
Fun fact: this is the first list in months I made not to have any leftover points
It is at this point I finally find out what the map will look like.
So we have an enormous hill in the dead center of the board, which will spell doom to the last player that gets to choose where his main camp will be as he will no doubt be surrounded by armies that have nothing better to shoot at. I start crossing my fingers.
The rest of the field is kinda standard, with a completely useless table quarter with just some craters in it, a big forest on the top right, and a couple of medium-to-small ruins.
I actually am to go first in deploying after the rolloff, so I quickly place my camp in the top corner of the forest and place my commander more or less towards it, so that if he was ever to survive he can attempt to run away in cover if necessary.
The second player places his main objective exactly opposite of mine in the bigger of the two ruins, meaning I will not be the one who’s surrounded. His commander turns out to be an Eldar Farseer on jetbike with Mind War and runes who’s apparently named “Kamikaze”.
The third player tries to get as much cover as he can by placing the last objective in the last set of ruins, and then proceeds to place a friggin’ Daemon Prince of Tzeench as his HQ unit. Here’s an HQ I will most definitely not be able to instakill regardless of what I shoot at.
As it is my turn to field the rest of the army again, I basically deploy everything I have in the forest, not needing to fear to give out cover saves as the Eldar player is on the other side of the hill, and the other army will either be sporting power armors or invulnerable saves. The only ones who don’t get to enjoy the trees are the Sniper Drones and their Spotter, who go out in the open covering the corridor from which the Chaos player might come if he was ever to have the chance to abandon his main camp. I also leave the monat in reserve.
The Eldar player fields a 5-man Pathfinder squad next to his objective and places everything else in reserve.
The Chaos player does the same, fielding five Havocs with Missile Launchers.
The roll to see who starts playing first wants me to go last on the first turn, with the corrupted Marines going first.
The Daemon Prince turns around and flies straight towards the Tau main camp, attempting to bolt the Sniper Drones but only killing one, and inflicting itself a wound. I raise an eyebrow.
The Eldar opens up on my commander, who survives the Mind War but is ripped apart by the sniper shots.
My turn sees a whole bunch of nothing, as the entire force is just too amazed at the events to act.
All of the Eldar forces decide to show up, and while two squads ofGuardians on jetbike start zooming down the field to get closer to the objectives (one inevitably being the Chaos’), a squad of Warp Spiders pops out of nowhere in front of the Havocs and a Fire Prism stops right next to his base camp. Gulp! Though I still don’t know the tank will whiff for the whole game, I’m glad I’m in cover and on the other side of the friggin’ hill! The Havocs get shredded by the combined fire.
Tau turn, I start advancing a little with the mounted Fire Warriors, disembarking a squad in order to help out with the daemonic threat, and start shooting. I’m amazed as said Fire Warriors are the ones that kill the beast with ruthless efficiency, leaving my Pulse Rifle squad and Battlesuits free to open up on different targets; this shortly translates with two downed Warp Spiders and an instakilled Farseer, who had remained on top of the hill.
The Chaos forces, visibly angry, do very much like the Eldars and enter the field all at once. A Rhino with a minimal tactical squad with a Meltagun park on top of their home objective while another one moves around the ruins and closer to the Tau objective while popping smoke, and a Defiler starts getting closer to the incoming Guardians on Jetbike guided by a Warlock. Their retaliation sees off the all but one Warp Spider and a Guardian on Jetbike.
Chaos acts first again, finishing off the lonely Spider and getting into assault with the Guardians; their exchange of blows will spell doom for one more Guardian and for the Defiler itself during the following Eldar turn. Meanwhile, the closest Rhino to the Tau objective delivers its cargo into the forest, which proceeds with dealing a whoppin’ 8 wounds (out of 9 shots!) to the Pulse Rifles squad, that breaks after taking three losses and doesn’t run away long enough to get out of the 6’’ range of the enemies, meaning it will get out of the board. Drats!, and another raised eyebrow.
The Tau turn sees the arrival of the monat, who will have to renounce his intent to bring a surprise attack to an enemy position and come in close to the Chaos’ attacking force; he doesn’t scatter by much, and doesn’t end up on the hill, which is good. The other Fire Warrior Carbine squad dismounts to help out the rest of the army taking out the marines, and after much shooting and three passed pinning tests, the meltagunner laughs at the blueis’ attempt to bring him down, then suddenly realizes he’s the only one left, and promptly runs away. The Rhino, on the other hand, only lost its Twin-Linked Bolter.
The Tau finally get the initiative and proceed to relocate in order to achieve victory; the Fire Warrior squad responsible for the death of the Daemon Prince hops back inside its devilfish, while the other team advances towards the hill together with its APC. Shooting sees off the two normally equipped Guardians on jetbike from the little squad who was aiming for the central objective.
Said guardian attempts to kill off the Fire Warriors who helped in the demise of his two colleagues, but his Shuriken Cannon is as ineffective as his combat prowess thanks to cover saves and numerical inferiority. The Fire Warriors consolidate moving closer to their transport. The Chaos Rhino gets shaken thrice.
Meanwhile, in the Chaos Base Camp, the Guardians that couldn’t do nothing more than immobilize the Rhino (losing two members to the ruins during the charge) are charged back by the disembarked marines, the following combat resulting in a tie for one loss to one. The Rhino which survived the Tau shooting phase attempts to tank shock the battlesuits, which in turn obliterate the thing out of existence with a fusion blaster shot from point-blank range thanks to Death or Glory.
While in the Tau turn, the closest Fire Warrior team to the center objective hops in their Devilfish and move towards it while covering fire from the monat immobilizes the Fire Prism, and the other Fire Warrior team heads back for the home objective.
The game is set to end, Tau victory!
… Or not. You see, it was late, I was already a walking zombie and… Well, y’know. This is what I did, thinking I still had the third scoring unit next to my objective. I hate you, sleepiness!
If there was something I didn’t understand it was the Chaos’ player continuous attempts at attacking the pretty heavily defended Tau headquarters. If anything, I would’ve gone against the Eldar who were already attacking him, and had the better mobility out of the three armies; but regardless, his incursion combined with my sleepiness did negate me the win, and concede the draw to the Eldar forces.
List-wise, I feel I had put out a good plan, though I wasn’t too impressed by the Sniper Drone Team: their markerlight and strength 6 weaponry, only accounted to one wound to the Daemon Prince, and a Shaken result to a Chaos Rhino. I knew what I was getting into when I purchased them, but I hoped for some more shininess from their Markerlight. Next time, I’m definitely swapping them out for something else- most likely more XV8s.
I’m also fairly ok with how the 8-man Fire Warriors squad fared; sure, Kroot would have meant my third scoring unit was still there as they would’ve had more numbers and a better saving throw due to the forest, but I didn’t know I could’ve gotten my hands on such a big and convenient piece, let alone if there was to be one on the field. And while it doesn’t change anything on how effective they were on the field, they could at least kill a couple of Warp Spider.
The thing I liked the most, however, was how the Pulse Carbines performed; I almost never end up taking them, but heck are they nice to use. I’ve always thought of them as an ok weapon since the Pulse Rifle allows you to support the army over a longer range, but using them for the first time in a long while remembered me of how bad it is to disembark in the 12’’ range of the enemy just to shoot them with twice the number of shots, as the squad is going to die in the following turn. I think I’m really going to be fielding way more Carbine toting Fire Warriors than before.
It is to my understanding that too much information scares people off; I guess I was kinda stubborn when I wrote the previous posts, and exaggerated. A lot.
So I’ll just go with two topics this time, hoping I did not bore the forums too much and that there are still some good souls to read my crap
1. How do you like the Broken Alliance mission? (again, you may find it on p.272 of the rulebook)
2. Pulse Rifle vs Pulse Carbine; can we get some strong opinions over the Carbine and/or the EMP Commandos in general?