Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Aftermath: Ishamael

by Ishamael

Hey fellas, Ishamael here with some quick batreps at the tournament we attended yesterday! Unfortunately, Loki's got the pictures, so I can't give my commentary on the tables until the pics become declassified. At any rate, the Tau I took was the list from last time, only with the upgrade to a Shas'O added, as I had 25 points to spend, and a BS5 suit is everybody's friend. So, the format will be mission, opponent, highlights.

Mission 1
Pitched Battle Deployment
Victory: Score more Victory Points than the opponent, as defined in the BRB.

So, of the 12 players in the tournament including myself, I get paired up with the only other Tau player there, our very own Heretic. His list was something like this:

3 Suits
2 Suits
4x 12 Fire Warrior squads with 3 Warfish
1 squad of 2 Piranhas
1 squad of 1 Broadside
1 squad of 2 Broadsides
Pathfinders w/ Warfish

I got first turn, set up, and got seized. This could have been worse, but essentially our first couple turns were putting the same damage on each other, including the piranha squadrons' drones going into CC with the opposing side's Pathfinders. On turn 3/4 the momentum swung his way when my Suits decided they wanted to go back home and relax on the beach. Lost my Shas'O's team to a leadership check that really spelled my doom. Although, I failed three leadership tests on my suits, and they only ran 4 inches each! Since our officer's game was too much fun, we ended up playing through half our lunch, when we decided to call it there. I lost by a 520 VP margin. But hey, my drones sissy-slapped a Broadside for several turns, and his drones tied my Pathfinders for three or so turns. Very entertaining game.

Mission 2
Spearhead Deployment
Victory: Score more objectives than your opponent.
Special Condition: Night Fighting all 6 turns of the game.

2 things. First, fuck this mission. 2, the TO saying that we should roll for deployment zones then objective placement, is what killed me. I'll get into fixed gamelength at the bottom, as each game was at a fixed length. So, it's Night Fight for six turns, I'm Tau fighting Blood Angels:

Captain w/lightning claws
3x Tac Squads w/meltaguns and some random heavy weapon, with Rhinos
2x Assault Squads
3x1 Multi-Melta Landspeeders
Devastator Team- something like 2 lascannons, missile launcher, heavy bolter. Don't know, wasn't sure if everything was WYSIWYG.

So hey, I get first turn, choose my zone, then he wins the roll off to place the first objective. In my deployment zone. Objectives are placed within one of the four table quarters, with no restrictions on being close to other objectives. I then get seized on. Just about this whole game revolved around my speeders countering his, and once in a great fucking while my Suit teams would see something and get to shoot. Acute Senses rocks for random shit like this. Eventually, it came down to either a contest or cap for me on my own home objective (worth one extra BP if I held it at the end of the game, btw). My Pathfinders, after turns of jerking eachother off, finally got to use of the least-used abilities for Markerlights: let other units auto-pass Night Fight. So hey, I kill things, then my Kroot get Tank Shocked, run away, and it turns into a Minor Loss, his 2 objectives to my 1. For it being so stacked against me, I thought I did decently well at mitigating the circumstances. Damn, I need those pictures. Next time we go there, I'll have a camera ready for better batreps. Moving on!

Mission 3
Dawn of War Deployment (fuck me running lol)
Victory: Modified Kill Points (HQ 3, every Elite, Fast Attack, and Heavy Support worth 2 each)

This time I got to fight Nidzilla 5e:

2x Hive Tyrants
3x Tervigons
2x Carnifexes
1x Old One Eye
3x Termagant squads

This is about the only mission that I got to use most of the Tau tricks I know. I get first turn, and do NOT get seized, so my Kroot push him back to about the 6 inch mark on his half, and they just fall back to my battle line. This game revolved around me keeping him at arms length and pelting him. Although I got to finally play the Tau this event like I planned, this game was a hollow victory against a baby seal, and Carnifexes only having 4 wounds is asking for death. Ended up in a slaughter, so I really don't have much to say on that. He was a great sport about it.

So, what are my reflections? Well, game 1 was fine, VPs are better than regular KPs, but playing the only other Tau player in the tournament was surprising, as we all had to write down which army we played at signup. Mission 2 was as rotten as Cthulhu's balls, allowing the players that brought assault armies to get a free pass to the next round. Game 3 could have royally fucked me over. Piranhas AND their Drones were worth 2 per squad, then my 3 Crisis Teams, Shas'O, then my Hammerhead and Broadsides. Luckily, only 6/8 of the KPs I gave up game 4 were my Piranhas and 2 for a squad of Drones. Could have been far worse.

The terrain was okay, but some tables blatantly had more than others, including one table having a ridiculous amount of LoS-blocking walls.

So, I've been wondering about fixed game length. Each game in the tournament lasted 6 turns, then ended. In a normal 40k game, it can end on 5, 6, or 7 turns, which makes you think ahead as to what your plans are. Fixed game length leads to players not having to work as hard for their contest/control shenanigans, and I am surprised beyond belief that we did not have a Mechdar player there to show how bad such a length is. 2/3 missions were just "kill shit", with only 1 objectives game, which is entertaining, considering we go from VPs to a bullshit KP scenario.

Here's a quick recount of my experience. When I get ahold of some of the pictures I'll comment on the tables next!

See You Space Cowboy,


  1. Wow, that second mission sounds... yeah..

    Trying too hard to gimp Guard? Trying too hard to make BA really good? I don't get what the deal was with that mission, but it seems it would just screw some people completely and give hilarious bonuses to others, much like the 3rd Ard Boyz mission round one.

    Also, the fixed game length makes me wish my Eldar were done.

    What as the species makeup of the tournament? Who won the whole shebang? What was the prize?

  2. If you've ever seen the first Highlander film, you'll appreciate the Prize joke I just have to refer to now. :)

    Prize support was I believe 90 dollars for first, 40 for second, then 20 for third.

    1st Space Marines (TH/SS heavy list w/Shrike)
    2nd Blood Angels (Jump pack/Termie hammer)
    3rd Space Marines (Pedro and Stern Guard list)

    The armies that were in attendance:
    I believe 3 Codex Marines, 2 Blood Angels, 1 Guard (weird, eh?), 1 Orks, 2 Tau (<3), 1 Space Wolves, 1 Eldar, and 1 Tyranid. I think this is correct, as I did end up with 12 total.

    I did consciously leave some things out because of our narrow post space. Should I just write with impunity next time to get a better point across?

  3. I was there, (placed third with a very helpful painting score in the end), and I wasn't pleased much with the scenarios.

    I appreciate the idea behind making a few changes from the usual three by three mission choices to change things up, but something like Night Fight for the entire game can be a major inhibitor to armies that like to shoot vs armies that assault. Being on the receiving end of that... I know it to be true :P

    I was hoping the final mission would in turn be helpful to the shooting based armies, but instead continued to give the assault based units an advantage with DoW set up. Overall the missions were unbalanced, and not well planned, but I still managed to have fun in the end (minus a narrow avoidance of being tabled against 20 TH/SS fleet terminators against my vastly out matched, and out lucked Sterngaurd units in game two.

    The folks hosting the event realized the error of their lack of foresight and play tests... so I don't have any hard feelings. I hope to make it down again soon for another round of good times, great players, and smashy killy battles!

  4. enjoyed it but really like VP's over Kill Points. Also would have liked 2 of the 3 games as objectives. Not big fan of bases but would have been better than a modified kill point system. I say this because it punishes builds that aren't normal and also would have liked the missions beforehand. I didn't know it was fixed length of games. My first game went 7 turns. Oh well. It was good experience and hope to play again.

  5. I also learned a lot about my playstyle and changes with my list that will happen for when I get back from July 4th. Still foot and will probably add a vehicle in to get used to using them. Also when is the team tournament? I had a friend who I would like to join in with.

  6. Definatly looks like Assult armies had the upper hand in this tourney. Can't wait to see some pictures.