Saturday, June 6, 2015

Tau v. Black Templars, 1,500 pt Battle Highlights

The very same afternoon my Skaven got beaten up, I played a 1,500 point game of 40K using my Space Marine Black Templars against Tau. For the sake of time, this used exactly the same list I had some success with against a Tyranid force in a previous game


- a layer or two of cover-ignoring template death from afar (Whirlwind Missile Launchers)
- a dash of tracked, high-powered pew-pew (Lascannons on x2 Razorbacks)
- a pinch of backfield harassment (Sternguard in drop pod)
- a slathering of airborne support (Stormtalon)...
...all of this wrapped around a sweet core of Xenos-squashing, chainsword-wielding fanatics (blob squad in a Land Raider crusader).

My opponent brought a shooty, Tau foot-slogging list (is there any Tau list that isn't shooty?). 

- A couple of Broadsides with rail weapons and plasma.
- Crisis suit unit.
-Commander with bodyguards.
-Kroot unit with sniper rifles.
-Two units of Firewarriors.
-Two units of Pathfinders.
- A unit of Stealth suits with drone markerlight support.

At this point, you might be thinking...

"...wot no tanks?"

Yes, as a former Tau player, I was initially surprised to see a complete lack of heavy armour or flying transports, but as it turned out, my opponent had no option but to bring a foot list, as he hadn't been able to find his tanks before coming over...

Even so, I was looking forward to my first game against Tau in this edition. Also, my first 40K army was Tau and I still have a soft place in my heart for the minions of the Space Pope. 
AND, it is always great to see Kroot on the table!

The game:

Game type: Keeping it simple, we went for a VPs game.

Tau Deployment:
Pathfinders went on either flank (assuring nice interlocking fields of Markerlight fire!). 
One broadside took up position in a bunker, anchoring his two units of Firewarriors on either side. One was in the open, the other clustered around an old bunker.
On the far hill, another Broadside was supported by a second unit of Pathfinders.
All the crisis suits, Kroot and Stealth suits stayed in reserve.

Black Templars deployment:
A line of black, tracked boxes...
Subtle eh?

Razorbacks stacked opposite the Broadside on the hill, with Whirlwind Missile launchers in the centre, and Landraider on the opposite flank. I hoped to take a chunk out of his Firewarriors with my missile launchers, while rushing my LR down a flank.

Game Highlights.

Early on in the game, the Landraider faces a unit of Pathfinders. A round or two of cannon fire would take them down to 1 man, but not destroy them entirely.

Tau Stealthsuits come in, accompanied by Markerlight drones. 

It isn't long before the Razorbacks go down. Hmmm, massed Firewarrior Pulse Rifle fire sure does glance those hull points down pretty quickly! The Crusader squad makes it out alive, but is now staring down a whole load of Tau firepower...

After a couple of turns, the BT left flank is now a mass of destroyed hulls! (See image below) One Razorback and a Whirlwind has been destroyed. To make matters worse, a unit of Crisis suits manages to deepstrike in the back field, right behind another Razorback.

Fortunately for me though, my Stormtalon has come on. Although it isn't equipped properly for this fight (no enemy flyers upon which to unleash my Skyhammer missiles) the pilot still makes use of his cannon on the Tau infantry around the table.

Now this next image is what we (Black Templars) like to see! 
Noting that the Landraider won't be able to make it around the side of the table in time, the Black Templar blob squad disembarks, hoping to foot slog to glory (and the juicy Tau Firewarriors in the centre field...)
...meanwhile the Landraider continues to whittle down the Kroot with cannon and bolter fire.

The Tau have done a jolly good job of taking out the Whirlwinds and Razorbacks , but the Stormtalon looks like it may dominate this side of the field, as evidenced by its ability to take a few wounds at a time from the Firewarriors.

The Stormtalon zooms towards one of the Firewarrior units.

...and although I don't have an image of this, that same Tau Firewarrior squad manages to defeat a small Crusader squad in close combat!

Unfortunately we didn't have time to finish the game, but at this point, the game was even (in terms of points won by either side). It would have been an interesting second half though:
-The big BT squad with Captain heading towards the Tau (will the unit of sniper-round Kroot nearby take them out?)...
-The Sternguard and Drop pod still to come in (can I take out his Warlord?)...
-The Landraider Crusader barreling down the flank...
-The Tau commander and his bodyguards still to come in from reserve.

Thanks to my opponent for a fun game - really great to see Tau on the table - makes me want to fight for the Greater Good again!

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