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1500 Point Tau Vs. Chaos Space Marines (May 2nd 2010) – Pic heavy!
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Old 03 May 2010, 04:41   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default 1500 Point Tau Vs. Chaos Space Marines (May 2nd 2010) – Pic heavy!

1500 Point Tau Vs. Chaos Space Marines (May 2nd 2010) – Pic heavy!

As I mentioned in response to my previous battle report, I invited a friend over for a friendly game today. He fell in love with my Death Guard Army and got into the game just a little after my Tau were battlefield ready (assembled, painted and based) and we’ve been working our way through my 3000 points of Chaos Space Marines ever since… about 1000 points are now painted. Anyways, every time he comes over we have a battle royal between 2 of my armies, usually Tau against Death Guard. Today was no different; 1500 points, Tau versus Chaos Space Marine Death Guard! My biggest table is only 3 feet wide by 6 feet long, which doesn’t make for a great playing field, so we usually use the floor, but it’s the spirit of the game that counts (so you’ll have to excuse that fact in the upcoming pictures)! Likewise, my terrain is a little skimpy, I’m working on it… but it’s not there yet (we actually made some craters today before our match… so we had some new stuff for everyone on Tau Online… but anyways… sorry about that too…).

I will report the battle as follows… Each turn will be broken into 4 parts. First a story made of fluff and fiction. Followed by pictures of that turn (usually in the order of Movement, Shooting, Assaulting, though I fear some pictures are missing… especially when things get intense and I forgot to snap a pic). Then the top of a turn in facts. Then the bottom of a turn in facts. Let us begin shall we?

Lists:
Tau List:
HQ:
Shadowsun – 175 points

Elites:

4 XV15 stealth suits – 132 points
-team leader
-bonding knife
-fusion blaster

6 XV25 stealth suits – 194 points
-team leader
-bonding knife
2 fusion blasters

6 XV25 stealth suits – 194 points
-team leader
-bonding knife
-2 fusion blasters

Troops:

6 Fire warriors – 81 points
-Shas’ui
-bonding knife
-pulse carbines
-photon grenades

10 Fire warriors – 100 points
-pulse rifles

10 Fire warriors – 100 points
-pulse rifles

Fast Attack:
8 pathfinders – 181 points
-devilfish
-disruption pods

Heavy Support:
Hammerhead – 170 points
-railgun
-burst cannons
-disruption pods
-target lock
-multi-tracker
Hammerhead – 170 points
-railgun
-burst cannons
-disruption pods
-target lock
-multi-tracker


Total: 1497 points

Chaos Space Marine List:
HQ:
Typhus – 225 points

Elites:
7 Terminators - 255 points
-mark of Nurgle
-heavy flamer

Troops:
14 Plague Marines – 347 points
7 Plague Marines – 186 points
-plasma gun
-meltagun
7 Plague Marines – 186 points
-plasma gun
-meltagun

Heavy Support:
Defiler – 150 points
-2 additional close combat arms
Defiler – 150 points
-2 additional close combat arms

Total: 1499 points

Mission Type: Annihilation
Deployment type: Spearhead

Deployment:
Shadowsun stood, surveying the scene before her, her suit shimmering in and out of sight. Death was everywhere, a thick cloud of flies hung in the air, something was not right… she had fought this man before; Tau intelligence knew him as Typhus… his work was apparent, but the corrupt beast of a man was nowhere to be seen. The smell of death, a toxic miasma, wafted through the air filter of the XV22. Thought filtered, the oxygen had taken on a sickly pungency which was unmistakably the tang of rotten flesh. His men were nearby…
She shifted her view away from the horizon towards her own kin. About her, Fire Warriors were rushing to battle stations, Hammerheads sliding silently past to their posts on the flank of the army. Orca drop ships roared into open landing strips, depositing their cargo before returning to the low orbit crafts which had sent them.
“Drones are picking up something to the west Shas’O” a forward working pathfinder informed Shadowsun, “the first wave should be coming into view in about half a dec. Be ready, Shas’O.”
The transmission ended, leaving Shadowsun to her work, everyone was nearly in position… by the time the first rolling clouds of noxious fumes broke the treeline at the far edge of the clearing, the Tau were ready to face them.

Tau Deployment: The Tau set up in a very usual deployment style with Shadowsun in the center, fire warriors on her flanks, a pathfinder unit and its devifish off to the left, with the 6 man fire warrior team ready to hop on in to the fish. Hammerheads on the far flanks and then the infiltraters taking up useful positions (with the exception of the XV15s who I figured I might want to hold back incase Typhus showed up turn 2).
Chaos Deployment: With the exception of Typhus and his Terminators, everything deployed as close to the center as possible, with the defilers forming a bit of cover for the plague marines.

Turn 1:
No sooner had the daemonic engines of death known as defilers rushed out of into the clearing than Shadowsun gave the order, “ Pathfinders, at the ready! Hammerheads! Bring them down!”
Two shells screamed out of the railguns, one slamming into the closing defiler’s chest, obliterating it. The second shot veered wide, much to Shadowsun’s disappointment and frustration… “How could you miss that…” she muttered to herself before ordering the next move, “stealth teams, if you would be so kind?”
Something shimmered in the distance, Shadowsun was pleased. Two beams from near invisible fusion guns melted clean through the defiler, reducing it to a pile of molten slag.
But the Marine’s of Nurgle were no fool, a gurgling sound of recognition spread through the ranks as the marines charged towards the shimmer of the stealth suits.
Shots were exchanged; the Tau screams mingled with the sloppy sounding thuds of falling plague marines...

Tau Turn 1:


Moving my infiltrators up to be in range of their intended targets (the defilers, I let the hammerheads drift out and away from my armies flanks, giving me room to maneuver and giving them a better shot at the side armour of the two defilers. Pathfinders fired markerlights at the one defiler… only to have the hammerhead fail to pop it… but with the ballistic skill boost from the markerlights, the XV25’s were able to put that thing in its place, surprising me with 2 penetrating hits to its front armour, one of which caused a vehicle destroyed result! The second defiler went down much easier, with the hammerhead rolling a 5 to hit, a 5 to penetrate and a 5 to destroy it.
Chaos Turn 1:


Choosing to go after the nearby stealth suits, the mob splits, heading for their targets. While they both find themselves within spotting range, only the unit of 14 manages to down some suits. Knocking off 2 of them, they force a moral check which sends the suits running for the nearest board edge.

Turn 2:
“Hold the line!” Shadowsun barked at the fleeing suits, but they could not hear her. The roar of shots being exchanged from both sides overwhelmed the com-links speaker… it was not long before her first squad of XV25 scouts was reduced to a bloody pulp.
“XV25’s status report!” She tested.
There was no response for a long time… then…
“Do not fear Shas’O, they are chasing ghosts.” It was clear at least one of her stealth teams was still out there somewhere.
But there was still that feeling of something being wrong… the air was getting thicker with that toxic cloud. The flies were clogging gun barrels and making it hard to breath. Something big was coming… Typhus was coming.

Tau Turn 2:




Consolidating, the XV25 stealthsuits return to service, their guns still just in range of those plague marines which had shot at them. The unharmed unit did a little rearranging and was ready to fire. I tried to move up the XV15s by moving through cover… but rolled a 1 (yep… snake eyes)… so figured the dice gods rather I didn’t move them... so I didn’t. Markerlights lit up the nearest squad of 7 and a big blast template blew a large chunk out of them. A second big blast template dropped a plague marine from the unit of 14. Obviously still shaken from the trauma of being shot at… the remaining 4 XV25s missed all their shots… Meanwhile, the XV25 stealth team who was unharmed was ripping up plague marines like no tomorrow.
Chaos Turn 2:




Typhus and Friends do not make an appearance, rolling a 3 for reserves. Knowing a good thing when they saw it, the 14 man plague marine squad pursued the 4 XV25s, taking out another, forcing another moral test… and having them nearly scoot off the board again… The other marines, knowing there would be no point in chasing shadows (the second XV25’s now nicely tucked away behind Mt. Appleton) chose to head for the hammerhead instead. Out of range of meltaguns, they ran, one rolled a 1, the other a 6.
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Old 03 May 2010, 04:41   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: 1500 Point Tau Vs. Chaos Space Marines (May 2nd 2010) – Pic heavy!

Turn 3:
“Marked. XV25’s you are clear to move in.” The pathfinders announced, red dots glowing on the bodies of the plague marines before they were ripped apart by the powerful plasma bursts of the stealth teams.
Large shells screamed through the air as the hammerheads fired their submunition rounds, shredding plague marines left and right. For a moment, Shadowsun could see victory… it was almost hers
Then her premonitions came true. There was screaming to her left, she whirled… and spotted him…
Typhus stood, surrounded by putrid bodyguards mutations sprouting from every limb, their bodies fused with their armour. Flames and noxious fumes erupted from the cloud of flies which nearly blocked the evil human and his bodyguard from view, enveloping the nearest Fire Warriors, melting through armour, flesh and bone.

Tau Turn 3:



The first XV25’s run off the board… great leadership was showed by their team leader. More than making up for the failings of their brothers, the second XV25 team attempted to finish what they had started, pursuing the plague marines around Mt. Appleton. With a coordinated strike from the pathfinders, boosting the XV25’s BS to 5, and reducing the cover the plague marines claimed in the shadow of the mountain, the XV25’s blew them away, reducing them until there were just 2 of the original 7 left. The XV25’s moved through cover, but really weren’t yet close enough to help support anyone. The devilfish swung round and found a nice place to hunker down. 2 big blasts failed to kill a single plague marine, but where the blasts failed, the burst cannons made up for it killing more than their share. A little more shifting around from the stealth suits ended the turn.
Chaos Turn 3:




And there came Typhus… in all his super Nurgle powered glory… he and his unit cleared 1 fire warrior team with no trouble at all (in fact, wind of chaos and the heavy flamer wiped out all but 2 Fire warriors right off the bat, the last two were then mopped up by lots and lots of bolter firepower). The plague marines were less scary. The big mob and the 2 guys moved and ran towards my lines, while the larger remnant of the 7 man team fired the melta at my hammerhead, and missed.

Turn 4:
“Pathfinder team, get out of there!” Shadowsun ordered, but the command was too late, shots ripped through the tau armour, sending the few remaining warriors fleeing for their lives.
With a roar of rage, Shadowsun leapt forward to avenge her fallen bretheren, the nearest hammerhead bringing its might guns to bear as the Tau commander left from clearing to clearing, dancing a dance of death about the Plagued general. But for all her efforts, nothing seemed to be working, Typhus was still standing!

Tau Turn 4:



With pressure and a need to do well… comes very bad roles… the hammerhead, the XV15’s and 10 Fire warriors did not wound the big mob of plague marines once. Shadowsun and the second hammerhead took down 2 of Typhus’s buddies and covered the pathfinder’s retreat through cover. The XV25s, now finding themselves out of the action, started to book it towards the nearest plague marine unit. Meanwhile, its delivery job done, the devilfish took some potshots, killing a plague marine!
Chaos Turn 4:




The pathfinders’ retreat pays off… sort of… they are neither charged nor wiped out… though Typhus’s unit kills them nearly to the man. They fail leadership and run, but don’t make it too far (sadly, no bonding knives means I’m going to say goodbye to them next turn).

Turn 5:
Fighting was all about her, evil pressing in to from every angle wipe out the Tau. But amid the sea of terror there were still pockets of resistance. The XV25’s were everywhere; unseen, but not unfelt. Plague marines dropped in droves, some even wrestled with the air, trying hopelessly to fight what they could not see, while their assailants tried desperately to kill that which was already worse than dead.
There was still hope.
Shadowsun danced out of reach of Typhus, his massive blade sweeping arks of destruction through the air while his body billowed noxious fumes. She would be safe so long as she stayed one step ahead of him…
Tau Turn 5:




As predicted, the pathfinders run their last few steps off the board. The XV25’s finish the job they started in turn 1. The hammerheads… I don’t know what to say… both their templates scattered double 6’s! Any other unit (specifically those 10 Fire warriors who wounded only 1 plague marine from 16 shots…) would have loved double 6’s… but the hammerhead scatter… that’s just bad news. Good thing Shadowsun and the devilfish were on Typhus killing duty or nothing would have gotten done. Having knowing a charge was inevitable, I decided to take it on my own terms and charged the XV15s into combat with the plague marines… no one killed anyone and combat was locked.
Chaos Turn 5:



Typhus attempts to follow Shadowsun but gets hung up on the difficult terrain… then can’t see her when he tries to shoot. More concerning though, the huge mob of plague marines makes a mockery out of my fire warriors, first shooting down 1 and then killing the remaining 7 in combat… the Xv15s seem to be holding their own in close combat though…

Turn 6:
She was running out of places to run, Typhus had her corned between the edge of a cliff and the broken remains of some Imperial blockades. She tried to clear him with a jump, but a filth encrusted hand snagged her ankle, dragging her back to the ground.
Gazing up at her doom the Tau Shas’O could sense the end was near… Typhus raised manreaper to deliver the final blow.
In a blink of an eye he was gone, only the slightest traces of filth remaining where he had once stood. Shadowsun was at a loss, what had happened?
“That one makes us even for when I missed the defiler,” the Hammerhead gunships railgun operator radioed in, “oh… I want my tank upgraded with sensory spines when we get back to T’au!”
The hammerhead pilots had spunk, she gave them that.
Pictures:
Tau Turn 6:



Burst cannons from every angle rip into Typhus’s remaining bodyguards wiping them out totally. And with a final mighty Whoomph! Typhus is splattered by a railgun. The nightmare was over… I had carefully positioned my hammerhead between Shadowsun and the plague marines, then jumped her further out of harms reach so she wouldn’t be killed in the bottom of turn 6.
Chaos Turn 6:


Incase none of you can read minds… I was regretting that plague marine charge right about now… though the combat was a stalemate of 3+ armour… there was no way 4 XV15’s could stand up to the charge of all those plague marines… they were killed outright.

Turn 7:
Their leader seemingly destroyed, the plague marines retreated, shadows nipping at their heels, Xv25’s dragging more plague marines down as they retreated to the safety of the forest beyond the clearing the battle had taken place in.
Already, the sky was clearing of the thick miasma and swarms of flies. The Tau had won the day, but the casualties had been great. Shadowsun had decided; it was time to return to the Empire and inform the Ethereals of this latest development. Something told her Typhus was not gone… something of such evil was not so easily cleansed from the stars.
Pictures:
Tau Turn 7:


Once again the XV25’s were ready to strut their stuff, finishing off the last of the small units of plague marines. Lots of pot shots were taken at the remaining plague marines, but to no avail… they still stood. Everything fell back well out of harm’s way… except the devilfish… which I had forgotten was at any great risk since that unit neither had melta nor plasma... I of course forgot that a marine can punch through our tanks in close combat… something I later came to regret…
Chaos Turn 7:


Only 8 Plague marines remained standing… but they had a plan, they charged straight for the devilfish… now that’s all fine and dandy… but does it look like there is a 6 to glance in that dice roll to you? Nope. They did nothing!

Results:
Tau: 6
Chaos: 5
Tau Win!

Overview and after thoughts: It was really close! Right near the end, I was just praying it would roll into turn 7 and let me grab that last kill point. Plague marines are tough as nails, and my bad roles don’t help much either!
By far the most valuable unit on the field were those XV25 stealth suits which helped wipe out nearly every unit which was killed during the game.
Some of the things I could have done differently are already listed in the report, but one that wasn’t mentioned was the cluttered deployment zone, in order to ship out that devilfish full of fire warriors, I had to do a lot of moving which I didn’t really want to do… perhaps I’ll put it further to the flank next time.
The game was good fun as usual. My friend and I are both still learning, so we’re about the same play level, and while my army has the mobility, his choices are all like fighting some really really big blob which just squishes around when you hit it… it takes forever to whittle anything down!
A good game and I look forward to the next one!
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Old 03 May 2010, 12:59   #3 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: 1500 Point Tau Vs. Chaos Space Marines (May 2nd 2010) – Pic heavy!

Great report going on and good to see a bit of Floor-hammer to bring back the memories lol
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Old 03 May 2010, 13:15   #4 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: 1500 Point Tau Vs. Chaos Space Marines (May 2nd 2010) – Pic heavy!

Really good report. Enjoyed it and really good pictures.

A close game and well done on winning.

- Will
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Old 03 May 2010, 16:48   #5 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: 1500 Point Tau Vs. Chaos Space Marines (May 2nd 2010) – Pic heavy!

Glad you guys enjoyed reading it (or managed to get through that monster of a battle report at all... now that I read it over myself, I realize... it just keeps going!).

On day I hope to buy a board and be done with this floor hammer business... but then again there has never been a model I've had trouble reaching or had to walk around the table to use... so floorhammer does have its advantages.

As for how close the game was... when I took out the 2 defilers turn 1, I thought I had it... but when Typhus showed up everythign swung the other way... I knew I could kill off his unit because I've done it before. I just wasn't so sure I would have time to do it though. Finally at the bottom of turn 6, I was fully expecting a draw, because I rarely get turn 7's... but there it was, and the Tau just managed to squeek in a kill point.

One interesting feature of this battle is to look at the way in which it was won and lost. It really shows the Tau strengths and weaknesses... mostly weaknesses. My two reasons for losing kill points were being killed and failing leadership. I've already boosted their leadership as much as I am willing to, bringing Shadowsun into the list... so now I need to work on their survivability... maybe in 2000 point games I'll hand out some devilfish to the masses.
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Old 03 May 2010, 17:20   #6 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: 1500 Point Tau Vs. Chaos Space Marines (May 2nd 2010) – Pic heavy!

They may be weakness's but they fit the fluff of the army. It is the Tau way to fall back and give up territory rather than suffer more losses. The only way you can put this method onto the gaming table is by having fairly poor leadership, where as leadership wise in the fluff they should be the highest, never faultering and doing as the commander orders for that is the way of The Greater Good.

And finaly being weak. Sure they may have powerful weapons, but it does not mean they need to be big and heavy. Tau are not tough, commonly refered to as "Fish 'eads" and just like a fish out of water they will be munched.

I'm not lecturing you because I'm sure you know this about Tau but just incase any newbies have a reed they will understand when you say 'those weakness's' lol.

Yes it was lengthy but easy to follow and clear pictures. A great example of a Tau army at work. One thing I would have done differently was not sending the d'fish of so far to drop the small squad of FW. Keeping closer to the main line would have aloud you to have more concentrated power but also you could have used the fish more efficiently to pull FW squads away just when they were about to be taken in CC. Just reduces the chance they have of getting another KP from you.



Still enjoyed it as I said already lol and now looking forward to my 1k battle against space marines in about 2 hours time :P
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Old 03 May 2010, 19:36   #7 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: 1500 Point Tau Vs. Chaos Space Marines (May 2nd 2010) – Pic heavy!

Yes, good point. The Tau weaknesses are very much intentional and in keeping with the Tau fluff, I would never expect anything different out of them. But, a good way to improve your force is always to looks at the key reasons you took damage and try your best to limit them as much as possible.

I know what you mean about the devilfish. I saw the big mob of plague marines getting ready to go one way and decided to swing my force around the other, I had only just got the devilfish out and away when Typhus popped in and effectively pinned me in so that I couldn't get the rest of the force past. I then had a large bulk of my fire power cut off from a a large bulk of my kill points and not much time to conolidate them back together. It worked out in the end, but I definitely could have done the 'migration' better. Part of it was that the guy I play against is no fool, had he chosen to continue chasing down my stealth suits they would have had a target long enough to draw his army in to a kill zone, but as it was, he went the other way and I had to chase after him, spending an entire turn not shooting with them. Ah well, live and learn.
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Old 04 May 2010, 03:44   #8 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: 1500 Point Tau Vs. Chaos Space Marines (May 2nd 2010) – Pic heavy!

I really liked the addition of fluff and pictures; it adds a lot to the quality of the report in my eyes. I remember playing on the floor. Biggest problem was the cats coming to investigate and kill half the units. When you go to buy a table, just get three 2' X 4' sections of 1/4" MDF board at your local hardware store. They only cost ~$7 a piece, then get some $3 spray paint and you're done.

Your guys were murdering plague marines in the first half of that battle. I don't think I've heard of so many dropping to pulse rifles and submunition fire. What is the twin linked plasma rifle guy with the stealths supposed to represent?
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Old 04 May 2010, 05:26   #9 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: 1500 Point Tau Vs. Chaos Space Marines (May 2nd 2010) – Pic heavy!

Lol, my cat is almost blind, so if he can't smell it, he wont come and investigate... so floor hammer is relatively safe... ish...

The last report I wrote here lacked both pictures and fluff, so I figured this time I'd endulge you guys... it was a little harder than usual because I don't know much about Shadowsun (only what the codex says...), so I didn't know what she would say or think... or even very much how she would act. I set her up to be like my Tau female general from a story I'm working on, a solid leader, but a little condesending and elitist... I somehow don't think I quite got it right... but oh well. It was just for fun anyways.

I had a small 4x4 board in my youth when my dad and I used to collect Fantasy, but during some move or another (once my dad had lost interest in my hobbies) the table went missing. One day I'll reclaime a room in my house just for Warhammer related stuff and I'll get a proper table. I'll go 4x6 with a cupboard underneath to store models and terrain and then get to work with the foam to craft the details on the table and finish off with a surface of fine grain cat litter (to give a sandy effect) which I will probably paint over in either greys and purples (moonscape) or orange and brown (desert)... but that is a project for another time. For now, floorhammer gets the job done.

Over my roughly a year of playing I have slowly adapted my playstyle. I started out using one or two powerful shots a turn, which would take out 1 or 2 powerful enemies a turn. But as times changed and I expanded the range of people I played against, I came to the conclusion that I could not rely on battlesuits to mow down the tough stuff and leave the light stuff to my fire warriors (fire warriors always being killed... and then I just wouldn't have the number of shots needed to take out the light stuff). So... over more than a year I have slowly shifted from a small number of powerful shots, to a massive number of relatively weak (by Tau standards) shots. The idea this strategy really brings out in this game is that no matter how tough an enemy is... something has to get through eventually. Now... there are good days and bad day (that mob of 14 plague marines for instance... I dedicated most of my force into blowing them up and they hardly took a scratch!), but if statistical averages are to be trusted, 96 S5 AP5 shots should hurt something fierce!

The guys with the twin-linked plasma guns in the two XV25 squads are the team leaders with fusion blasters. If people every object that they are not following WYSIWYG (so far no one has because everyone thinks they are cool) then I say that the two plasma guns fire a on a single spot, which superheats the area in the same fashion as a melta weapon... thus making it count as a fusion blaster :P I'm sure someone will complain one day...

I converted them out of 2 stealth suits and some leftover crisis suit bits (and greenstuff of course). They are actually intended to be a single HQ choice made out of 2 Shas'el with stealth suits. I even made up some rules for them for when I one day feel like playing Apocalypse with something a little different. Basically they are like what Shadowsun could have been if she were geared for offence not leadership.
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Old 06 May 2010, 23:29   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1500 Point Tau Vs. Chaos Space Marines (May 2nd 2010) – Pic heavy!

Good job! The game reminds me of my university days
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