Mission: Big guns with four objectives
Deployment: Hammer and anvil
Terrain: Big ruin in each deployment zone (ours on our left, theirs on their right) a forest across from each ruin, a big hill in the centre and another forest on our left in the centre.
Warlord trait Tau: Through Unity, Devastation
Warlord trait Marines: No idea
Eldar: guide, fortune, presience
Night fight: yes
Space marines and guard
Two tactical squads
Two devastator squads
Company command squad
Massive blob squad (50 guys)
Leman russ demolisher squadron (two tanks)
They won the roll for first turn and opted to place the thunderfire cannon behind their big ruin, with the devastators in the ruin, one tactical squad hidden behind the rhino, with the chaplain and other tactical squad in the rhino.
The guardsmen deployed in the forests, with the russes anchoring their left flank. Marbo was hidden in reserves.
We set up a fire warrior unit in the ruin, and the fireblade and other fire warriors in the trees. The pathfinders were on the higher floors of the ruin, the skyray cowering behind the hammerhead in the centre. The bikes anchored our left flank facing off against the devastators, with the riptide next to them. The plan being to force the marine flank with the bikes 48” turbo-boost, taking out the thunderfire turn two and forcing the marines to fight us on two fronts. As usual, the suits and hunter were in reserve.
We failed to seize the initiative.
The imperium ordered a general advance, rushing forwards to engage the filthy xeno. The searchlight from the rhino lit up the hammerhead. The devastators seized this opportunity and blasted the grav tank to tiny pieces (first blood).
The tau retaliation was swift and deadly. The skyray missile barraged the rhino into oblivion. The marines charged out, only to be met by a farseer guided riptide and his nova-charged weapons which gunned them down, leaving few survivors. The bikes soared down our left flank, pressuring the devastators and the thunderfire.
The chaplain and marines dashed forwards, hoping to do some damage to the riptide. The guard advanced but ran again due to being out of range. Guardsman Marbo materialised in the ruin’s, but fell under the ever watchful eye of the riptide and was shot down in a hail of burst cannon fire. The demolishers attempted to raze the forest containing the warlord. With a sharp cry, Oi’nan’shi ordered her warriors to take cover, the tau diving behind the trees to avoid the explosive munitions. The devastators and thunderfire cannon unleashed hell on the bikes, tearing down four of one squad and one from the other, but the elves’ nerve held.
The riptide advanced, plasma guns ready for the devastators, as the crimson hunter swooped in, lances locking onto the space marine leader with the farseer moving in to help. A crisis suit gracefully touched down beside the jetbikes, as the bikes prepared to kill the thunderfire and the devastators. The skyray swung round, ready to unleash smart missiles on the advancing blob squad. The riptide failed to harm the devastators, the crisis suit killed a couple with the jetbikes adding to the tally. The two man jetbikes bladestormed the thunderfire techmarine down, silencing the artillery piece. The crimson hunter and farseer removed the tactical squad from the board in a brilliant display of lance fire and shurikens (slay the warlord).
The imperials responded by bringing the second tactical squad to bear on the riptide, but the plasma gun failed to cause any wounds. The blob squad put a couple of wounds on the riptide with various orders. The devastators failed to kill the jetbikes and hunter. Again the demolishers futilely pounded the forest with siege shells, though they did successfully destroy the skyray.
The crimson hunter banked right but fluffed its rolls against the leman russ squadron. Thankfully, the second crisis suit had just arrived and reduced one of the lumbering behemoths to molten slag with its fusion blaster. The riptide nova charged, and ignored the juicy guard heavy weapons teams and instead destroyed the second tactical squad with help from the first crisis suit, the farseer and the jetbikes. Having finished its work, the riptide jetpacked after the blob squad…
The remaining russ powered forwards away from the crisis suit. The suit was slain by rocket fire from the company command squad, even as they ordered the men to slay the riptide. After many orders had been cast, las cannons fired and grenade launchers shot. The smoke cleared. Leaving the riptide still standing. The devastators charged down the building, rushing into combat with the farseer, but neither could cause any damage leaving combat a draw.
The crimson hunter finally sorted its targeting profiles blasting the second russ apart as the jetbikes took out the command squad. The riptide sprinted forward, charging into the guardsman blob to drag them off the objective. Despite numerous overwatch shots and bayonets, the riptide crushed several unlucky heroes of the imperium, running them down as they fled from the monster battlesuit.
With little left to do, the remaining guardsmen prepared to sell their lives dearly as the riptide bore down on them, their shots just bouncing off its impermeable armour.
The bikes moved to claim all the objectives, as the farseer finally slew the devastator squad in combat. The riptide survived yet more overwatch to charge the last bastion of the imperial guard, scattering the puny gue’la, and claiming this sector for the Tau Empire.
Final score: Taudar 18 (4 objectives, 4 heavy support kills, slay the warlord, linebreaker) Imperial marines 2 (1 heavy support kill, first blood)
After game thoughts
This game was immensely enjoyable. Our opponents were a great laugh, and although the score was very one sided, the game was not. When the hammerhead got killed first turn, and the bikes charge began taking casualties, we began to get worried. But ultimately the risk paid off and we were able to execute a pincer manoeuvre. However, it was a hard fought match right until the finish.
Unit of the match: riptide, for generally making a nuisance of itself