Just finished my first afternoon of 8th edition practice games with my new, semi-assembled and unpainted T’au against my friend’s World Eaters, made up solely of unpainted models and proxies (we were eager to get to playing).
These were our first games since 4th and 2nd edition, respectively, so we were very rusty and I’m sure did close to everything wrong. Still a very interesting and fun experience, and we’re both looking forward to more. I thought a quick write-up of the experience might be interesting for other new players, and maybe for you veterans as well.
TL; DR: Had some fun 8th ed games. Kharn seems unbeatable to me, looking forward to becoming better and proving myself wrong. For more, continue into this wall of text:
We played several loadouts between 500 and 650ish points. Don’t have exact army lists handy now, mostly because we changed small loadout things between games.
- 1-2 3x Stealth suits, various loadouts
- 10 Pathfinders
- 3x Crisis (first with 3xFlamers, then 2xFlamers+ATS) with 6 Gundrones
- Coldstar Commander (proxied for 4x Fusion commander in last game)
- 6-9 Berzerkers, most of the time with Chainaxes, champion with various weapon options
- Rhino for Kharn+Berzerkers
- 2 Helbrutes, various loadouts
We played on a small battlefield with lots of line of sight blocking terrain and cover, which probably helped him a lot more than me. I never really managed to set up good kill corridors or traps without sacrificing a unit of mine to the berzerker ball.
We played the Only War scenario from the quick start rules, but experimented with the different deployment options from the big rulebook, as that seemed straightforward enough and looked more fun than just setting up opposite each other.
Quick aside on 8th edition: Games were quick, and a lot more dynamic and interactive than I remember from 4th (although I only played a few games back then as well, so my experience is limited). I play Infinity and Anima: Tactics as well, and while the 8th ed games are not as diverse and interactive as those systems, it was very entertaining. I am sad to see templates go. placing blast and flamer templates on miniatures and watching them disappear beneath them was always a joy.
I do think I lost most of the games, did have a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to some bigger games, hopefully I can use the synergy of T’au better with multiple avenues of support.
Overall, without wanting to use it as an excuse for my losses, T’au seemed a lot harder to play than Marines. He basically rolled up the Rhino as far as it would take him, unloaded and proceeded to slaughter anything coming into contact with either Kharn, his Berzerkers, or both. All the while the Helbrutes fired into me with abandon. All on 3+s.
Meanwhile, I need to jump the Coldstar across the battlefield, get Markerlights on targets every turn, need to know exactly when and how to mantastrike my suits, plus make sure I place Homing Beacons for them exactly where I need them. Firing and rolling to wound with T’au weapons is a very enjoyable experience. Getting them to hit, not so much.
Coldstar commander did very little for me, although I did have very bad luck with rolls. She got a lot better with ATS and/or Target Lock but died a lot. I couldn’t really make use of her mobility much, but that might also be because of our battlefield setup and the mission. I was thinking of getting her a pair of shield drones, but those would not be able to keep up after the first movement phase.
For the last game, I played her as a 4x fusion blaster commander, which did what we expected her to do, kill armored stuff. Still died to Kharn in melee but what doesn’t?
Stealth Suits were very nice, the 2x Burst Cannons, 1 Fusion on Shas’vre seems very solid, especially with ATS on the Burst Cannon suits. Obviously very useful as objective grabbers the way our battlefield was set up. I had trouble placing good Homing Beacons for my Crisis without getting charged to death in response. I will try out a vanilla 3x Burst Cannons plus Beacon setup in an upcoming game so I don’t feel bad about that.
Flamer Crisis were kinda sad. They are probably not the correct tool against Berzerkers. They got a lot better once I went from 3x Flamers to 2x plus ATS, but even in the rare case where I dropped them in range for flamers for the crazy manta strike, if at least one Berzerker and/or Kharn survived, they would get charged and murdered in one melee phase.
Pathfinders I should have split up into two squads to get more markerlights on Helbrutes to support the stealth suitrs. I don’t regret putting rail rifles on two of them since the model looks so great, but they didn’t do anything for me so far. Might just say they count as very big markerlights and hope for the codex to make them better.
Some memorable moments:
Kharn getting 25 flamer shots to the face, not taking a wound and proceeding to single handedly murder 3 crisis suits and 4 gun drones in one fight phase.
Fusion Commander killing two Helbrutes, then getting shot at and charged by a Rhino and dying.
8 Pathfinders hitting all their shots and lighting up a Helbrute with 8 Markerlights, only for the Rail Rifles of the other 2 to still miss.
My only successful melee combat: A Helbrute with Missile launcher and Reaper Cannon charging my crisis suits. They bring it down to one wound with lucky overwatch fire, it misses all attacks and the Gun drones kill it (by headbutting it repeatedly, I assume?).
Some minor rules questions I don’t want to make an extra topic for:
Can transports hold objectives? It seemed silly that my opponent could hold an objective with a Rhino.
Flamers also hit automatically on overwatch, correct?
Do drones have For the greater good? I always fired overwatch with my drones when the crisis suits next to them were charged, only questioned this later.
The way I am firing Markerlights is one at a time, until the first one hits, then I roll the rest (to benefit from the reroll 1s), then any other weapons. I can do it like this, correct?
And a more broader question: What do I do against the Kharn/Berzerker deathball (especially if I need to get past it to get to an objective)?
If you’ve read until here, wow, and thank you. Hopefully this was interesting in any way, and if you could help me out with some beginner tips and answer my questions, I’d appreciate it.