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'Ard Boyz mini-batrep
Old 15 Sep 2008, 13:20   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Default 'Ard Boyz mini-batrep

Sadly, I did not have a good time at 'ard boyz this weekend. There was nothing wrong with the way the tournament was run or anything, just a run of rotten luck. Let me get a brief gripe-fest out of the way, then I'll move on to the batrep that I'll try to reconstruct from memory as well as possible.

OK, gripefest: My local game store just closed, and the nearest several stores were not running a tournament. Four brave souls piled into a car at 6:00 am to drive for two hours in record-setting rain to get to the place as it opened to insure we would be able to play. No preregistration, and we didn't want to waste the trip. We did make it with minimal navigational errors, and it was a good place to play. When actual play-time came, i just had bad luck of opponents. Round 1 was against one of my travel-mates, a very good ork player. It wasn't his fault that I didn't enjoy the game, my dice just didn't like me. Round 2 was against another tau player who must have spent a whopping 10 minutes with the 5th edition rulebook and played so slowly we only finished turn 3. My opponent was actually delighted that we made it that far, as he only completed 2 turns in round 1! Round 3 was against a cheesy Space Marine drop pod army run by a young kid who couldn't resist gloating over the damage he was doing to my forces.

Ok, now that that's out of the way, I'll try to do the rest of the report with minimal complaining. My army was tau, with heavies consisting of 1 railgun-hammerhead, 1 skyray, and 2 broadsides with stabilizers 2 shield drones. Troops were 2 full fire warrior squads with markerlight shas'ui and 3 14-carnivore kroot squads, one with 9 hounds also. HQ was a shas'o centurion (plasma, cyclic ion blaster) and 2 helios (plasma rifle, fusion blaster) with targeting array. The unit also had a mixture of gun and shield drones. Elite 1 was a stealth team of 5 suits and 10 drones, with a targeting array and markerlight on the leader. Elite 2 was a mixed set of deathrains (twin missile pods) with 2 gun drones. Fast attack consisted of 2 pathfinder squads of 5 markerlights and 2 rail rifles. One of their transports was a standard warfish, the other had gun drones and seeker missiles and was usually sent on outflank.

Round 1: Opposing army was a mass of orcs with 2 looted tanks of some kind, a looted wagon full of burna-boyz, 2 or 3 squads of regular boys, 1 jump infantry squad, a squad of ard boyz (I think: 4+ armor and Feel No Pain), a force-field guy, and a commando team that could come in from any table edge. I misjudged the terrain a bit and ended up with much of my units stuck behind the building that I had intended to shelter them. His regular tanks were kept at bay by my railguns, although cover saves and some luck kept me from destroying more than one early on. I blew the main gun off the other looted tank and the looted wagon, but he was able to repair both later. The looted wagon proved completely indestructible, and the squad of burnas in it did disgusting amounts of damage. The wagon would roll up to a squad, place the flamer template, and roll for that many wounds for each flamer in the tank (I think the record was 88!). I need to look up the rule for why you don't remove casualties after each template, but I knew my opponent and he's not the cheating type. The jump-pack squad rushed the building in turn 1 or 2 and annihilated a kroot squad, but returning fire from the neighboring fire warriors avenged them. Orks continued to roll forward, and I didn't kill very much. My pathfinders and their seeker missile-equipped devilfish outflanked in turn 3, with 1 seeker hitting the back of the looted wagon and 1 hitting the side of the looted tank. While this proves the theoretical usefulness of the seeker missile outflank I keep trying, the dice hated me and neither seeker did anything. My stealth team also completed their outflank and did some damage, but not as much as I would have liked. I wasn't able to get markerlight support to them, unfortunately. Towards the end of the game, the burna boys jumped out of the wagon and used their burnas as power weapons to wipe out my command squad, and the commando team showed up on my board edge and killed a pathfinder squad. When the dust settled over the battlefield, I handed my opponent a well-fought and well-deserved victory (Major Victory, I think) but avoided a Massacre. He went on to take 3rd in the tournament out of 10-12.

Round 2: opposing army was tau, similar to mine: 2 broadsides with plasma and shield drones (but no stabilizers!), 1 railhead, 1 sniper team, 1 pathfinder squad, a gigantic armored kroot squad with 2 ox, a shaper, and 10 or so hounds, an ethereal with 2 drones, 1 or 2 fire warrior squads, and a 2-suit command squad with airbursting frag projector, cyclic ion blaster, and 2 plasma rifles. Strangely, my army, his army, and even the terrain pieces were the same general color. I set my stealth team, the pathfinder team with smart missiles, and the two smaller kroot squads on outflank. His giant kroot squad, with ethereal joined for some reason, and my largest one basically marched toward the center of the table gunning for each other. After some softening fire and a large melee, mine lost by a small margin, but my elite crisis suits finished them off including the ethereal in turn 2. Only then did it occur to me that when an ethereal goes down, the rules say EVERY tau on the table takes a morale check, not just every friendly tau! It didn't matter much as most units passed their check, but it was an unexpected surprise. In turn 2 his broadsides arrived with a good firing line down the table, which I promptly moved all my units out of. They fell back off the table in turn 3 when the ethereal died. One of my kroot squads outflanked into a fire warrior squad at the edge of the table and routed them, but then got pinned by sniper drone fire on turn 3. His HQ squad, after a rules debate, took out one of my pathfinder squads and/or the rest of my broadside squad (I can't remember if it was ruled that he could assault both units or not). Time was called at the end of turn 3, with one of my remaining reserves still out and one of them having appeared on the wrong flank, too far away to do much damage that turn. The game was ruled a tie, including the kill point he got for my unit that didn't show up, but had it been allowed to complete I would have managed at least a minor victory.

Round 3: Opponent was all drop-pod space marines: 2 dreadnoughts, 1 terminator squad, a librarian with warp time, and a 2+ armor-save independent character close combat specialist. Having never faced drop pods before, I took first turn and moved everything onto the table. This bad decision could have been influenced by the previous game where I had to award a kill point for a unit that didn't have a chance to make it onto the field. In turn 1 and 2 I spread out, hoping to complicate his deep-striking, which I now know is the worst thing you can do against drop pods. It did not occur to me to call my opponent on the fact that the scenario rules specify that you MUST deploy at least the 1 HQ and 2 troops during normal deployment, but he had placed everything in reserve. Nothing happened until turn 2 when all but 2 of the drop pods showed up. One squad dropped next to my hammerhead, blew off the railgun, and immobilized it. Another dropped in behind the skyray and destroyed it. A third wiped out my broadsides. Other squads did similar things to my other units. Dreadnoughts closed in on the kroot in the forest and flamed them into irrelevance. My return-fire killed quite a few marines, but I no longer had any heavy support to deal with the dreadnoughts. Successive rounds were similar, with lots of fire being exchanged, but marines are tougher than tau and he had a big advantage from that first turn. My command squad softened up the terminators enough for my remaining 1 1/2 kroot squads to beat them in melee, but one got away. The final battle point tally was 23 to 1 (that one point for taking both objectives, briefly, before his force showed up), a clear massacre. When scores were posted for the tournament, I placed dead last!
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