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Kiting Khorne: Battle Report
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Old 14 Aug 2006, 16:12   #1 (permalink)
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Default Kiting Khorne: Battle Report

Once upon a time, in a far away land, Aun'Shasta was trying out his 2000 point "firestorm" cadre [exact makeup is posted in the army list board] against his friend's new 2000 point Khorne Berserker army. The Khorne included a Lord on Juggernaut with pet dog thingy, a Defiler, a Land Raider, a Greater Demon, a Dreadnaught, and about 5 Berserker groups with rhino transports. He also had a small group of 3 bikers.

The Tau enjoyed marvelous success. Better than I imagined, actually. This was my first time fighting such a large Chaos army. It was also my friend's second time using this new army of his. Overall, I'd say I have alot more experience with my army, though, which may have made a bit of a difference.

We played on a 4' by 4' board, with terrain focused in the middle (mostly woods, and a small strange shaped lake on the far left side.) There was a single large open hole in the woods on the right side (my facing). Otherwise, there were some small twisty paths you could use to avoid the woods, but that did not allow a straight line of fire from one board edge to another. A few small craters were dotted within our own deployment zones.

Deployment was pretty simple.

My opponent placed his defiler in the back left corner, protected from firing lanes by the trees. He placed his land raider forward of it to offer protection from anything coming or shooting through the large "open hole". He placed all berserkers as forward as possible (not mounted) and placed the rhinos between them and around them. The bikes started near the far right side, behind rhinos and trees to give them blocked LoS. At the end, his berserkers stretched from one side of the 4' wide table to the other. His demon (naturally) started in reserves.

I placed my firewarriors along the back edge of the table, two deep in base to base, but with 2" left to right. One at each "side" so that there was more than 6" between both groups. The group on the right had the broadsides deploy in front of them...with good firing lanes through the "open hole". The pathfinders deployed next to the broadsides in a small crater (all packed in); their fish started near the middle, forward. On the left, the railhead started forward behind the trees, covering the exit of the "twisty paths". Next to it, the stealth team set up just in front of the firewarriors so that they could shoot into the trees and path exit. The piranahas lined up along the left side of the board, protected from line of sight firing from the trees. The "wildfire" unit started among them, very forward close to the trees. The Ion head started forward toward the middle (next to the pathfinder warfish). Finally, my commander started middle back between the two firewarrior squads, behind all the tanks.

The Chaos player won first turn AND rolled that it would be a dawn battle with nightfighting taking place on turn 1.

I used my scout move to move my warfish up close to the middle, but behind the woods.

A few of his zerkers actually blood frenzied, and all his troops began to move across the board. 2 of the groups heading for the open hole and 1 plus the Lord heading to the woodsy path. The other 2 (which frenzied) plunged into the woods toward the warfish, which was the closest target at that point) The tanks maneuvered a little but for the most part stayed back to fire missiles and the land raider's lascannons. His bikes moved into a space behind a rhino closer the hole that the berserkers had just vacated. The defiler used indirect shots. No shots actually got to me, due to nightfighting.

On my turn, I moved the warfish directly into the "open hole". The Ion head positioned behind it slightly. On the other side of the board, the railhead moved above the trees in front of it. Wildfire jumped into the trees near the lake (passed dangerous terrain test). The piranaha squadron moved forward, but stayed behind the tree line. Fire erupted, but due to night fighting and units still being so far away, only 1 chaos berserker went down.

First the all important Greater demon summoning FAILED; So I didn't have to deal with the blood thirster yet. Again, some of his group blood frenzied, including his Lord. Two of those frenzied groups headed straight for the warfish (closest target) and assaulted the front of it. Another group and the Lord plunged into the woods, attempting to get to the Railhead, but did not get the distance. Again, the vehicles held back and began to provide support fire. This time, the land raider got a shot through to the broadsides and took out a shield drone. The broadsides failed their morale check, but only fell back 2" on the roll. Other shots missed or deflected off Tau vehicle armor. In the assault, only the berserker commanders had a chance against the warfish front armor, and neither could roll the 6 needed to hit a mobile skimmer.

Commander rolled for reserves with the positional relay and called in the crisis team. They deployed right behind the land raider with the help of the marker beacon from the nearby warfish. The broadsides regrouped. Then movement began. Said warfish moved 6.1" toward the back corner the Khorne had just vacated, gaining a little protection from rhinos now blocking LoS to each other. The Ionhead also fell back a little toward my own side, to ensure that the warfish would be the closest target for the chaos berserkers. On the other side, Wildfire jumped the lake to stand in the open but behind a twist of trees and water. The chaos were on the opposite edge of the lake from him, with the Lord behind them. The piranah squadron deployed gundrones, then moved above near side trees. The railhead shifted a little to get a nice shot at the land raider and maintain many trees between it and the berserkers. Weapons opened fire. The Railhead hit then completely failed to penetrate the land raider, but then the crisis team opened up with fusion blasters on it. Only one shot hit, but that shot immobilized the behemoth. Broadsides split fire and one took out the lascannon (and the only ranged weapon) on the dreadnaught. The other wiffed. In the "open hole" chaos marines were lit up by path finders, and then firewarriors, the warfish and the ionhead began to pour fire into them. At the end of this round, one group had the champion and the standard bearer remaining. The other group had taken 1 casualty. Wildfire dropped an AFP shot into the woods on the far side of the lake, but it scattered and only nicked 2 chaos berserkers for no real damage. One of the piranahas also shot and missed a single berserker.

AGAIN the greater demon summoning failed! A few berserkers frenzied, including the lord and the dreadnaught this time. The two groups that were in the "center hole" frenzied and both chased the warfish back toward the far right corner of their own deployment zone (away from the rest of me...) The dreadnaught moved toward the railhead through the woods (but did not reach it). The Lord began to run back the way he came in order to get around the lake to the Wildfire unit. The defiler approached the crisis team. Bikes moved into the "open hole" with a new fresh group of non berserking berserkers. Some firing happened, and this time, one of the rhino's missiles struck the pathfinders. Over half the squad was lost. the land raider got one lascannon shot at the crisis team and vaporized one, but the team stood fast. In the assault, the Lord just barely reached the wildfire unit (good rolls and rerolls) and decimated it. The defiler charged the crisis team and decimated them. The two berserker groups playing with the warfish failed to roll 6's to hit again. Finally, the bikes fired and eliminated the rest of the pathfinder squad.

Piranahs now sped at full speed across the woods into the far back left corner behind the defiler. The warfish again, pulled back just 6.1" from the assaulting chaos troops. The railhead fell back toward my side behind the woods. Firewarriors hit the bikes and took down one of the three. The Ion head took out another one. The railhead then (lacking other targets) leveled it's solid shot railgun and obliterated the last. One broadside took out a missile launcher on one rhino (the one that got the pathfinders) and the other popped the Chaos Lord's pet dog thingy from across the table. The drones moved (not jumping) into the edge of the woods just in front of the stealth team and opened fire on the berserkers within, killing one. The warfish opened fire on the berserkers and didn't hurt any.

The Bloodthirster arrives! The champion he was chosen for was one of the ones in the woods on the left side pretty far back. The bloodthirster flies to engage a piranaha. The dreadnaught and Lord move to engage another piranah in the squadron together (again, the Lord rolls JUST enough movement). The berserkers in the woods assault the gun drones. The small squad of champion and bearer assaulting the warfish finally stop berserking and move back toward the "hole", but the full group in the hole go zerk and charge, you guessed it, the warfish. So it's back toward their own deployment zone for them. The other group keeps assaulting the warfish. Another rhino moves and fires into the very end of one of the firewarrior squads, killing FOUR including the shas'ui, but they hold their ground. The landraider chooses to fire on a piranah and obliterates it. The demon takes out another. But the 11 total attacks that come from the Lord and Dreadnaught combined fail to roll any 6's to hit the final piranah and it survives!!! The Defiler (in a terrible stroke of luck for me) targets the railhead indirectly and it scatters directly over the center of the stealth team. Only 3 suits and no drones remain (and are pinned) after that shot. Again, the warfish survives assault with no 6's rolled to hit.

Unfortunatley, here endeth the game. We ran out of time and wives were calling. At the end, the Chaos player conceded the game to me. We were playing a "recon" objective, where the goal was to get points into your opponent's deployment zone. With only two turns left and the look of the board, he wasn't going to get any units into my deployment zone, especially if they kept berserking after my "hit only on a 6" tanks. And if he did approach, there were still 20 firewarriors covering the back edge, along with 2 broadsides with TL plasma when things get close (they never got that close). Meanwhile, my Railhead and Ionhead were poised to continue to do damage and then easily fly into his deployment at the end of the game on the far right side (opposite side from his demon). Not to mention that pesky warfish which was getting to a point where the rear armor of rhinos was going to be a potential target. Finally, the piranah was likely to remove the defiler threat during my next turn (aka now).

In truth, I did not realize how effective the "kiting khorne with skimmers" could actually be. It was not my plan in the beginning, but came about due to the terrain and the fact that I was trying to get my marker beacon in place for my crisis drop. It worked out great for me, however, as I could basically make his troops (who were optimized to berserk) run back and forth in the middle of the board while I shot at him.

Well, I hope you all enjoyed this report. The game was alot of fun. I'm sure we both made many mistakes as relative beginners in this type of fight. There are a few I even excluded from the report that we found out about later.

We all live in the fish!
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Old 14 Aug 2006, 17:17   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Kiting Khorne: Battle Report

A few mistakes but not too many that I can see. How did the broadsides fall back 1"? You roll 2D6 for fallback meaning a minimum of 2" and max of 12". Thats the most apparent question I have though.

As for your tactics it was all in all not too bad, your skimmers made a mess of the berserkers forcing them to backtrack and waste time in the open however your Piranha and Crisis teams that targeted the Land Raider dont seem to have done too much. Personally I would have pegged the dread and Defiler first as they could actually tie things up and maul in cc. Still overall you did quite well, some not so great luck though it would seem.

Anyway great report.

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Old 14 Aug 2006, 17:39   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Kiting Khorne: Battle Report

Thanks, Vash!

Sorry, you are right. The Broadsides fell back 2". It was a 1 showing on both dice (very lucky, as they were only about 8" from the back edge.) In my excitement, I miscommunicated it.

The Piranahas and Deepstriking Crisis (as well as the "wildfire" monat) are the "newest" elements of my army and I'm still learning how to use them well. At first glance I think all three of these units underperformed, and it was due to my error.

First, I simply forgot that defilers were like dreadnaughts and had a WS. Pretty major mistake, I realize now. But when I sent in the crisis I thought that the defiler acted just like a vehicle. It was because of this error that I really put them in the wrong place on the wrong target. Having to do it again, I would put them after the defiler first, and tried to use it's hide as cover from the land raider (I could have done this with the layout). The crisis unit is set up to use markerlight support and go after heavy infantry, not really tanks, so I was simply using 3 BS3 fusion blaster shots when they came in. I rolled poorly and two shots outright missed. The one that hit was the immobilizing shot.

Second, Piranahas kinda did what they were supposed to and kinda didn't. I'm still learning them. I considered hanging them back until nearer the end of the game, but with time running out, I decided to use them to pull the enemy and try to get one into the backfield. The fact that one survived was amazing. And they did do something useful in pulling his Lord, Dreadnaught (with no ranged weapon), and Greater Demon into the far back left (deep in his deployment zone). It was partially due to this that he felt he would not be able to get those units to my deployment in the remaining two turns. In fact, those units likely would not have been able to even engage anything for the rest of the game (well, maybe the demon), since they only had CC attacks. So kinda good. But no kills for them is bad. They are supposed to take something down.

Third, Wildfire. Like the piranahas, meant to actually do more, but somewhat useful in that he caused berserking units to seek him out and have to get "caught up" in terrain. This unit makes a big difference if the Lord isn't so lucky and doesn't get to assault him right away when he did. It was one of those situations where he rolls dice, then claims a reroll. Then rolls more dice because he's berserking and has some "able rider" advantage... That's not specifically how it went, just how it felt to me. I mean, who would bank on him charging over 13" all through difficult terrain? Again, I'm still learning him, but I think he did satisfactory considering how he tied up units and made them move where they really probably didn't want to.
We all live in the fish!
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Old 14 Aug 2006, 18:12   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Kiting Khorne: Battle Report

Well in my experience a good battle is one where you learned something and in this one you learned quite a bit. Given some more time and use you will figure out how to use those units better. Keep it up and keep posting reports.

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Old 14 Aug 2006, 22:37   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Kiting Khorne: Battle Report

Excellent report AunShasta!! I'm glad to see you're experimenting with those Piranhas. I saw you were surprised that 1 survived, don't be, especially against Khorne as their shooting sucks.

The only thing I would have done differently with those Piranha would be to get them "in the mix" as quickly as possible. Especially against Khorne who doesn't have a lot of good shooting units. So my recomendation would be to move them a full 24" the first turn. Get them into cover(if possible) from the enemy rhinos/land raider. Then turn 2, drop drones and use the Piranha to chase down his defiler/land raider. The drones should do their thing and if possible go after a rhino or 2. The fact that the Piranha are skimmers is gonna play havoc with all those Berserkers trying to kill them in CC.

That's the only advice I have. Good job BTW, I hate Khorne armies. ;D
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