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Gaelcon: results and analysis
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Old 01 Nov 2005, 15:52   #1 (permalink)
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Default Gaelcon: results and analysis

A word from the overfiend:

As some of you may know, and others wouldn't, i was at gaelcon over the weekend, which is a huge independently run convention all the way up in dublin (in a castle, no less!) So, i went up with WARPS (wargaming and role playing society) and amongst us, we had 5 wargamers. We ended up talking the top 5 slots of the 40k singles (and i took second place!), and the other 3 won the team tourney as well (as a tau player, i couldn't ally with chaos but i was on their side morally). With regard to the singles event, i came second overall, and did extremely well, i thought. I won't give a blow by blow account of how each battle went, but i will give:
(1) an overview of each battle, my opponent, how it went, etc
(2) an overview of unit performance
(3) overall opinion - mistakes, etc.

The tournament: review and analysis:
Gaelcon took place over 2 days, and encompassed 6 games. It must be noted the organisers made each scenario individual. We did not play recon, patrol etc. We had unique scenarios like kill the enemy in a battlefield with randomly moving 2d6 toxic clouds that could immobilise vehicles, kill troops etc, a moonbase scenarion, a trench warfare scenario and so forth. They also presented us with seconday objectives which when completed were worth an extra bonus VP to our overall standing. Overall, this worked out exceptionally well.

I took my usual roster for 1000 pts: Fireknife shas'el, 2 8man FW squads in devilfish (MT, DL, TA) and 3 Hammerheads (2 rail, 1 ion, all with burst cannons, 3 MTs, 3 DLs, 2 TLs)

Day 1: Game 1. Tau vs Radical Inquisition
I faced Philip who took 2 rhinos, a chimera, inquisitor plus retinue, 2 daemonhosts, 3 stromtrooper squads, and a callidus assassin.This game overall was my worst. I ended up with a solid defeat.* We were playing a mission where we had to rescue scientists, and notes represented by counters, and fight off or kill infected guardsmen that were on the table. these guys bloodraged and attacked the nearest unit, and so forth.* I started off badly with my kroot locked into close combat on turn 1 from which they fled. I made a second mistake by fish of furying into the infected guardsmen. 10 kills. 10 passed feel no pain saves..... it hurt. and then the callidus assassin turned up and tore through my fire warriors. the rest of the game incolved me flying my vehicles around, shooting things up whilst trying to reclaim the counters his troops had looted. I did quite well with the shooting things up part. But in the end, we had all the counters contested and he pulled out in front as he killed 3 infected units in cc (daemonhosts) giving him an extra 300odd Vps. We got no VPs for killing each other, and if we had i'd have pulled ahead. Still....
FInal score. Him 14. me 8 (we both got our secondaries)

Day 1. Game 2. Tau versus Eldar.
In this game i played mark's biel tan eldar. Mark fielded a wave serpent with scorpions, a falcon with banshees, an avatar, a farseer and a tooled up storm guardian squad. This game ended up with a draw. It was a straight forward kill the other guy, get his HQ counter and for each turn on top of it we got an extra bunch of VPs. If ever a game happened that epitomised "blow for blow", this was it. I'd destroy his falcon. He'd destroy my Devilfish. I'd kill his guardians. He's kill my kroot. I'd burst cannon his farseer. He'd starcannon my commander. Our armies were just so resilient (AV13, glancing hits only, decoy launchers vs AV12, glancing hits only, holo field) that we just really could not damage each other.
Final score. Him 11. Me 11 (we both got our secondaries)

Day 1. Game 3. Tau versus Tau.
My final game of the day saw a civil war.. i mean erm... training exercise with Ted's tau. Straightforward annihalation, seize the central building and avoid the toxic clouds scenario. Ted took 5 stealths, a hammerhead, devilfish + FWs, footslogging FWs, 4 suits. Ted was a pleasure to play and got my sportsman's award. This game was a solid victory for me. Ted's broadside could not hit the broad side of a barn, and his hammehread went boom in turn 2 or 3. I moved right, put my firepower into the right units (suits) and tore apart his mecahanised elements. My kroot ran away, and a devilfish crashed. I did more damage to him, and would have pulled possilby a crushing victory but we had to call it before turn 6 (no time left) and ted took the objective (bonus 250 VPs) i ended up with a solid victory despie this.
Final score: Him 8. Me 14 (we both got secondaries)

So, facing into day 2, i had 1 loss, 1 draw and one win. And i held 6th place. I was happy, and had done better than i thought i would. However, i'd be facing Mark's Night Lords the next day and was dreading it, and saw no hope for my army. ths is a different mark to eldar mark. CSM mark came up with us to Dublin. So, Day 2 was not looking good.....

Day 2. Game 4. Tau vs night lords 1.
Mark took 2 tooled up HQ choices, and made up the rest with havoks, and las-plas squads and a cc squad. We had a jungle scenario with a hostile to both sniper. we rolled for him each turn and whoever got him, picked an enemy unit for him to shoot at- he could shoot anything (supppsedly!). We had an issue with skimmers but resolved it by stating they counted as being "on hills" and could see 6" into the jungle ahead of them (see jungle fighting rules). I went first. This game went great for me and horribly for mark. Whatever i shot at either died or ran away and his army was incapable of hurting mine. His lords though, tore through my kroot (70pts versus 300?) and his havoks knocked 2 wounds off my commander, and sniper dude killed him outright! grr! Mark had one lord left and a 4man cc squad (above 50%!) grr! One lord swallowed a railgun slug! ;D I was 5 points off a crushing victory at the end. One more CSM would have done it,* arguing should he claim full VPs for killing my commander (despite sniper doing it!) was unsporting so i left it. And i was really really happy. Mark was a very good oppnent and very sporting.
Final score. Him 8. Me 14 (we both got secondaries)

Day 2. Game 5. Tau versus Night Lords.
With the way the games were arranged, i ended up facing off against mark's night lords yet again. (he was 5th originally, and facing me in 6th. Now i was in 5th, and him in 6th). So we faced off again, on an interesting battlefield. We had to get off the world before an exterminatus go called down, but the guy with the button got eaten by a carnosaur. 6 counters. 1 carnosaur. and then we had to kill it beofr ethe teleported pad activated. we only got VPs for things that flew off. This game was... interesting. he blew up a railhead on turn 1, which i recycled thanks to my fortune of war card (another cool idea- played once per day). this game was almost a rerun of our last game, except for the carnosaur. i killed things. he didnt, bar the ionhead i stupidly charged into his aspiring champion with a power fist. his lords killed my kroot and my commander. my devilfish revealed the carnosaur which the 2 lords dutifully killed (along with the rest of the fire warriors!) and my army hopped off the table, along with his cc squad, leaving their commanders behind. Emperor bless traitors! ;D This was a solid victory for me as i pulled more stuff off the board than him, but would have been a draw probably had other VPs been counted. So, my bad luck in the first game was cast in a new light! win some. lose some.
Final score: him 8. me 13. (i didn't get my secondary)

Day2. Game 6. Tau versus tyranids.
last game of the tourney. I faced Floody's tyranids (floody who also came up to dublin with us). Floody took a lord, a few scything/rending warriors, zoanthrope, lictors, and 40 hormagaunts. Standard night fight, and kill the other guy. bonus for getting stuff in his deployment zone. Despite night fight, this game was great. i was worried when his army was almost in my deployment zone by turn 2. But the tau'va shone (as did the burst cannons!). I won't bore you with details, but the kroot and commander fell, and the railhead got rent by a warrior. and i killed everything else. got a massacre, and 200 bonus VPs by getting my stuff in his deployment zone! ;D
Final score: him 0 Me 21 (i got my secondary)

So, this final battle, along with a pretty good painting score, and full marks in the trivia section launched me into 2nd place... And so, from 6th to 2nd, it was not a bad day at all, despite all my dread!

Unit Performance:

Commander. I took my fireknife shas'el, as i always do. Generally, because of the range i was playing at, i found the missile pods far more useful than the plasma. My commander's perform was quite acceptable, and i can't fault his actions. He killed a callidus assassin, devilfish, a few chaos marines, and a lictor. He did his job and earned his place in my army. the jsj worked out extraordinarily well. he fell down when he got sniped, charged by 20 hormagaunts, and 2 chaos lords. *shrugs* as expected i suppose.

I took 2 squads of 8 fire warriors in devilfish with multi trackers, decoy launchers and targetting arrays. Overall, i was pleasently surprised with how well they performed as units. THeir primary role was VP denial which they did a terrific job. their secondary role was as a harrassment unit. And though 5 shots does not look like much, 60 shots from 2 tanks over the course of a game will count for something. and overall, they did extraordinarily well. With regard to unit upgrades i do not regret any. the tracker/array combo really made the units very, very effective as fire support and really added to my mobility, and ability to take the fight to the enemy. and decoy launchers were, as ever, awesome, and in virtually all cases brought a 5 down to a 3. the fire warriors were fielded generally in fish of fury style attacks (is it wanax who calls it FART?) and they performed admirably, with a zoanthrope, and wounded crisis suit and a head shot to a callidus assassin in close comat to their credit. generally they conserved VPs when the fish blew up and they remanined above half strength. So, they did their job of back up unit, and i will not complain.

I took a squad of 10 kroot. Overall, they did not perform as good a si hoped they'd do. they were unlucky, or els ei used them wrong, i suppose. sigh. they were useful though for tying up enemy units but i like them to kill things thather than absorb charges. as it was, they died to banshees, howling infected guardsmen, took obscene punishment from fire warriors before legging it, got charged and slaughtered by chaos lords, hormagaunts and a lictor. They did cause a whole unit of havoks to run away though, when they killed 2. i suppose that stands in their favour. Still, for 70 points i won't complain. And i would question the reasons for removing them. Like, i can take a third target lock for my hammerhead, and a second crisis suit, but i think i'll stick to kroot as they have numbers, and a boltgun that the crisis sut won't give me. Hmmph. I'll put it down to karapace armour kroot being xhausted from constant battle. he needs a rest!

Heavy support:
the armoured fist of my army. 3 hammerheads. I LOVE THESE GUYS! they ruled! They caused so much damage, and absorbed so much fire they earned my love, even if they didn't kill anything! But they did! They rained hell and wreacked havok. The submunitions probably took out 15-20 marines overall, and almost wiped out the guardian squad to a man in mny last game, as well as lots of hormagaunts. And of course they rocked when aimed at vehicles with too many kills to thier credit than i can honestly remember. And both a chaos lord, and hive tyrant swallowed a solid shot and died. The ion cannon was respectable. i expected more of it as an anti vehicle unit but it constantly rolled 2s against AV12 vehicles. Still, it did an OK job when aimed at crisis suits, expensive infantry models, and even hormagaunts (i know. 10 pts is measly, but with 3 shots and burst cannons, the kills rack up...). I won't fault its performance. And of course, my burst cannons. as usual, they rocked. In the hands (or weapon bays) of hammerheads, i have the equivelant of 24 fire warriors shooting at 30". The burst cannons reaped a fearsome toll on infantry, from gaunts to space marines. Overall, a very solid weapons choice.

Overall, i won't complain. I came second! ;D My army did its job and did it exceptionally well, as a whole. i was honoured when Night Lord mark called it one of the best and most functional lists he'd ever seen. it meant a lot. I am off to a tourney in waterford in november, and will probably field this exact army again, due to its performance at gaelcon. I made some stupid mistakes in some areas (exposing fire warriors to a damn assassin, and probably positioned my kroot and my commander in wrong positions in a few games. But overall, my list wasn't jammy good, or jammy bad. it took its hits. some stuff died. it dealt out damage. some hit. some didn't. some caused damage. some didn't. It was effective, and solid, so i won't complain.

I'd hope the other people on the boards would read through this analysis, and if you learn something from it, all the better!
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Old 01 Nov 2005, 15:56   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Gaelcon: results and analysis

BRO i was there two
if only id have known

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