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[BatRep] Tau vs Blood Ravens 1000pts - pic heavy
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Old 07 Jul 2007, 22:29   #1 (permalink)
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Default [BatRep] Tau vs Blood Ravens 1000pts - pic heavy

Hey everyone,

Here’s the first in a short series of past games between me and other members of my gaming group I’m planning to put up. Since we’re all in the university/early-career group, we haven’t been gathered all together for a while.

Anyway, without further adieu, here’s the first game, between me and Vector last Fall. Typos and small details aside, this otherwise long and heavily detailed battle has been illustrated and summarized using VASSAL, so if you find the reading heavy, just follow the pictures.


[size=12pt]The Mission:[/size] 1000pt Recon Alpha

[size=12pt]The Armies:[/size]

[size=12pt]Floobosaurus (Tau):[/size]


Shas'el – “Cmdr.”
- H-W Multi-Tracker
- Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Targeting Array
- 97 pts


XV8 Crisis Team (1x Shas’ui) – “Jeb”
- Team Leader
- H-W Drone Controller, H-W Multi-Tracker, Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Targeting Array, Shield Drone x1
- 92 pts

XV25 Stealth Team A (3x Stealth Suits)
- 3x Burst Cannons
- 90 pts

XV25 Stealth Team B (3x Stealth Suits)
- 3x Burst Cannons
- 90 pts


Firewarrior Team w. Devilfish
- 9x Shas'la + 1x Shas'ui w. Pulse Rifles
- Devilfish: SMS, Decoy Launcher, Disruption Pod, Multi-Tracker, Targeting Array
- 235 pts

Kroot Carnivore Squad
- 10x Kroot w. Rifles
- 70 pts

Fast Attack:

Piranha Light Skimmer Team (1x Piranhas)
- Fusion Blaster, Gun Drones
- Targeting Array
- 70 pts

Heavy Support:

XV88 Broadside Team (1x Shas’ui)
- Team Leader
- H-W Drone Controller, Adv. Stabilization System, T-L Railgun, SMS, Shield Drone x1
- 105 pts

Hammerhead Gunship (Ion)
- Ion Cannon, SMS
- Decoy Launcher, Multi-Tracker, Disruption Pod, Target Lock
- 150 pts

Total: 999 pts

[size=12pt]Vector (Blood Ravens):[/size]


Chaplain Reclusiarch
- Jump Pack, Terminator Honors
- Bolt Pistol, Crozius Arcanum + Frag Grenades
- 122 pts


Tactical Squad
- Infiltrate
- 8x Marines w. Bolters, Plasma Gun + Lascannon
- 169 pts

Scout Squad
- Infiltrate + Move Through Cover
- 6x Scouts w. Heavy Bolter + Sniper Rifles
- 108 pts

Fast Attack:

Assault Squad
- Vet. Sergeant w. Terminator Honours, Power Fist
- 9x Marines w. Bolt Pistols, Frag Grenades, Plasma Pistols + CCWs
- 260 pts

Land Speeder
- Multi-Melta
- 65 pts

Heavy Support:

Devastator Squad
- Infiltrate
- 6x Marines w. Bolters + 4x Missile Launchers
- 188 pts

- 85 pts

Total: 997 pts

I believe this was my first battle with my current list, having just completed the Piranha shortly before. On the other hand, Vector’s list had seen one or two games before, and had produced some good results then.

The mission we chose was Recon Alpha, but as usual, we played with Infiltrate and Victory Points. The table we used was 6’x4’, with plateaus in the top-left, center-left and bottom-middle; forests in the top-middle, bottom-left, bottom-right; and a tower in the center-left.


Vector won the deployment roll and chose the top, but had me deploy first.

Wary of his penchant for infiltrating tough shooters (and winning 1st turn rolls), I decided to play defensively, deploying my units in the natural castle on my right flank, in favor of overextending myself trying to protect my left. I placed my Ionhead tight against the bottom-mid plateau, which was the most critical position for my plan – it was the most exposed to incoming fire, but was crucial to allow me to react quickly to whatever Vector had in mind, as well as kept his infiltrators off the plateau. Vector followed by placing his Whirlwind behind the top-mid forest, directly across from my tank - I guess to tempt my Hammerhead. Realizing his tank was actually within easy rail-shot from my bottom-right forest, I placed my Broadside behind the terrain and to the right. He didn’t notice this, but followed by putting his ASMs to the left of the Whirlwind and forward a bit. I think the ASMs were actually there to discourage my stealthsuits, despite his advantage in that area (although they were going to sweep down towards my position if needed). At this point, his deployment suggested to me that he was going to put some sort of firebase down in the forest – probably the Devastators. My Devilfish & FWs were placed right of the Broadside, though it was still in easy sight of the supposed Devastator squad. At this point I said aloud that I had made the mistake of matching my Devilfish to the Devastators and my Hammerhead to the LasPlas, instead of the other way around. Vector just grinned and placed his Landspeeder full forward, to the right of top-mid forest. With no more regular units left on his side, I put my XV8s deeper into cover behind my Hammerhead, with my Piranha squeezed in beside them.

The regular deployment was over, but even with the bulk of his force waiting to infiltrate, it was pretty obvious that his plan would involve holding me in the confines of my castle, (thus nullifying my speed advantage) then moving in for the kill with his massive Chaplain ASM squad. I decided I would have to break out toward his deployment zone – running in any other direction would have meant more exposure to his top-mid firebase, as well as closing distance with his ASMs. However, I had to make sure he couldn’t restrict my movement up over the center-right plateau. Thereforce I would have to infiltrate at least one unit there, which would then have to deal with at least 8 Marines, no less than 12’’ away.

Luckly, I won the first roll for infiltration, and put a stealth team behind the center-right plateau, just out of sight of the top-mid forest. This achieved the necessary pushback, while protecting my XV25s from rapid-firing counter-infiltrators. Vector won all the following infiltration rolls. He placed his scouts in the bottom-left-most corner of the top mid forest. Surprisingly, it was his LasPlas squad that went in beside them! This left his 6-man Devastator, which he deployed out in the open, to the top left of the center-right plateau. I put my 2nd stealth team beside the first, and put the Kroot beside the Broadside, behind the bottom-right forest. Their job now would be to ‘hold the fort’ alongside the XV88, and help cover the rest of my forces as they made their way up.

The infiltration phase really added confidence to my plan. While his plan seemed sound, his actual deployment left his left (my right) flank very weak, and open to my will. He was wagering everything on going first. On the other hand, his battle was still far from lost, as my plan hinged entirely on my mobile units – especially my two tanks. Before the game started, I told him what I thought his plan was. He agreed and told me what my plan was - and was right. He was totally confident, I guess because of the near certainty of him downing at least one of my tanks, plus the fact his flanking force was really strong. Though it was true he had the clear advantage there, what I didn’t tell him was that if my plan worked, it would have resulted in a sort of ‘turning movement’ that would have nullified his flanking maneuver. So long as Vector didn’t go first, I would have had a good chance of pulling that off.

[size=12pt]The Battle:[/size]

Vector won first turn.

What followed would be the greatest, most horrible slaughter I had ever witnessed in 40k.

[size=12pt]Turn 1 (Blood Ravens):[/size]

Vector’s ASMs and Landspeeder charge forward 12’’, the marines closing in behind the bottom-mid plateau, while the speeder entered multi-melta range on the Tau tanks.
The Devastators fired on the Hammerhead. Nothing.
The Landspeeder fired on the Hammerhead. Snake eyes on the 2D6 - failed to damage.
The LasPlas had LOS on the Hammerhead, but fired on the Devilfish instead. It missed.
The Scouts snipe the Warfish. No effect.
The Whirwind launches missiles into the Hammerhead, which scatter behind it. No damage inflicted.

Well… I figured I'd better do something smart before my luck ran out.

[size=12pt]Turn 1 (Tau):[/size]

I move my big skimmers up to bridge my break out. The piranha jets behind the Warfish in preparation to drone-assault. My stealthsuits jump onto the plateau to engage the Devastators. My XV8s jump right, into LOS of the firebase, with Jeb acting as bodyguard. The Broadside activates A.S.S, and moves 6’’ into the woods, alongside the Kroot.
With the ASMs a long ways off, the Devastors were the main threat. My Stealths and Warfish fired on them, killing 5! The lone survivor runs 7’’ back.
The Landspeeder was a fast unit that could harry my tanks and battlesuits badly, so I fired my HQ’s missiles at it. Immobized à Destroyed.
The Scouts were capable of pinning my battlesuits, so I fired Jeb’s missiles and my ion cannon at them. 2 killed, removing the HB and one rifle.
I was tempted to ding the Whirlwind, but knew that even though the ASMs were fairly far off, they would need to be addressed soon, so my Broadside shot its railgun at them, killing 1. My Hammerhead SMS killed a second.
In the Assault Phase, my XV25s jump forward, off the plateau, and my XV8s head for the woods for cover.

[size=12pt]Turn 2 (Blood Ravens):[/size]

The lone Devastator fails to rally, and continues to run. The ASMs now charge directly at the Tau.
The entrenched firebase fires on the Warfish and again the lascannon, plasma and sniper rifles failing to do damage. The Whirlwind fires again, and the shot scatters into either the Kroot & Broadside, or the Kroot & Crisis. Either way, only 2 Kroot are killed.

Vector’s grin had now become a grimace of confusion and disillusionment… I couldn’t believe what I was seeing either.

[size=12pt]Turn 2 (Tau):[/size]

My Warfish boosts over the plateau to join my stealth teams, which have advanced to engage the firebase from maximum range (i.e.: 18-24 JSJ). The piranha superboosts to engage the Whirlwind/drone assault the LasPlas. The Hammerhead follows, settling in the Warfish’s previous spot. The Broadside lurches forward, while the Crisis suits continue through the woods.
With my forces now split in two, the upper section concentrates on the remaining BR firebase, while the lower half dedicate heavy weapons fire in the ASMs.
The stealths fire on the LasPlas squad, killing 3.
The Warfish kills the last Devastator.
The Hammerhead and remaining battlesuits fire all weapons into the ASMs and the low AP shots claim 4 of them. The ASMs are still out of range of the Kroot and Broadside SMS.

His ASMs were isolated, close to below half strength and were still too far to assault anything. Even then, they stood little chance of overcoming the Kroot, Broadside and XV8s if I was allowed a 3rd shooting phase. To make matters worse, his central firebase no longer had the firepower to face down the 3 skimmers, 6 XV25s and an impending FoF on their position. With this, Vector decided to concede the game. The Tau win.

[size=12pt]Post-Game Reflections:[/size]

The sole reason Vector did so horribly in this game was due to absolutely horrendous dice rolls on his side. He was understandably unhappy after this game, and by my 2nd turn, I probably felt almost as bad, because the extraordinary results had little to do with actual tactics. Minor mistakes and army selections aside, he really should have won… or at least have done some damage.

Even though he did lose due to bad luck, the game did generate a fair deal of discussion afterwards at the pub. For one thing, we thought the Space Marine plan underestimated the danger of the Tau breakout into its left flank. It also placed its heavy support units in unnecessarily exposed positions to Tau firepower (i.e.: WW à XV88, Devs à XV25s, HH, XV8s, etc.). Instead, the marines’ own firebase units could have also been given a better field of fire (i.e.: in the top-mid forest), where they also would have been better protected. The Landspeeder probably should have been kept behind LOS to act as opportunist/support, instead of lead attacker. Finally, by deploying the ASMs on the extreme left (tau right) flank would have better discouraged a forward breakout, while still providing similar, if not better odds for the ASMs to storm the Tau position successfully. This way, if the Tau were to break out to their left, they could be controlled by the central firebase, and would still need to move forward to score, while the marines could have up to 2 scoring units in their deployment zone. This plan was similar to the original Blood Raven plan, but probably would have been more flexible and less risky. In any case, hindsight's 20/20 anyway.

[size=12pt]Blood Ravens Alternate Deployment & Battle Plan:[/size]

[size=12pt]Possible Execution & Results?[/size]

Hope you enjoyed the battle report!

[size=8pt]EDIT: Fixed a little problem with one of the pics... clarified a couple things. Also, much thanks Vash, chocolate chip's the best![/size]
[size=8pt]EDIT: Some typos... fixed.[/size]
"That is not dead which can eternal lie.
And with strange aeons even death may die."

- Abdul Alhazred, The Mad Arab of Cthulhu Lore, on the subject of Chaos Tau [link]

"Zomg, teh Tau are teh evil bastardz, they suk at life."
copy and paste this into your sig if you hate Tau.

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Old 08 Jul 2007, 03:10   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: [BatRep] Tau vs Blood Ravens 1000pts - pic heavy

though its short i love the diagrams and the possible course of action.

congrats on the win!

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Old 08 Jul 2007, 06:11   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: [BatRep] Tau vs Blood Ravens 1000pts - pic heavy

pics are cut in half, and it was really short, but i enjoyed it alot... i hope you get a little karma cookie for that... good job! ;D
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Old 08 Jul 2007, 06:26   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: [BatRep] Tau vs Blood Ravens 1000pts - pic heavy

He did get a karma cookie some time ago but now that I have a moment I'll post about it.

Great battle report man, I love the diagrams they are very well done and congratulations on the win. However I have to say the Marines did horrendously. Sure the dice rolls could have been better but the deployment was very poor and the execution worse. Positioning a firebase in such a spread and exposed formation and running the assault squad out in the open are drastic mistakes that did not help. Against Tau his best bet would have been to concentrate his firepower from a consolidated position and slip the assault squad around a flank behind cover. In fact your alternate deployment and battle plan layout would have been much better and probably the best way to deploy the Marines given the positions your Tau occupied which was a good setup in and of itself.

Nevertheless one learns more in defeat than in victory so lessons learned I suppose, good job and keep them coming.

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Old 08 Jul 2007, 13:40   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: [BatRep] Tau vs Blood Ravens 1000pts - pic heavy

Hey, thanks guys,

Yeah, the battle was really short, it ended quite abruptly - which is why I thought I'd try to put in as much of my own person thoughts during the game, as well as give a rundown of the post-game discussion that followed. I'm glad you guys enjoyed it.

Hopefully when vector reads this, he'll post something up.

Mitch, it's really too bad the pictures aren't loading up properly for you. They look fine when I view them, and I used photobucket to host them, so I'm not sure what could be wrong.
"That is not dead which can eternal lie.
And with strange aeons even death may die."

- Abdul Alhazred, The Mad Arab of Cthulhu Lore, on the subject of Chaos Tau [link]

"Zomg, teh Tau are teh evil bastardz, they suk at life."
copy and paste this into your sig if you hate Tau.

Proud member of Team CMAP - DON'T HOLD BACK- The time has come to- GALVANIZE!
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Old 08 Jul 2007, 14:20   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: [BatRep] Tau vs Blood Ravens 1000pts - pic heavy

Good job on the win, and I hope you can continue that success in the campaign. You maneuvered well and took advantage of your opponent's deployment mistakes. When I read his list I thought his deployment would have used the infiltration ability a lot more. Good job with the pushback though, using that tactic has won me games.

Commander Scoutfox
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Old 08 Jul 2007, 18:40   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: [BatRep] Tau vs Blood Ravens 1000pts - pic heavy

I remember you telling me about this battle a while back, and now I can see that Vic's deployment was his downfall. I think he was too impatient, wanting that first crack at the Tau. Heavy weapon squads and skimmers are the two things that should never be deployed in the open.

I think something different could have been done with the hill in the northwest corner and the infiltrating devastators. He would have had line of sight to anything you moved beyond the terrain, and would have partially cut off LOS to your return fire. Crossfire from two opposite positions tends to split the opponent's attention (and forces).

Also, the last devastator should have rallied IIRC, since he's got ATSKNF.

VASSAL adds a lot to the batreps; I'll give that a shot with the next battle I play. Nice work, man.
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Old 08 Jul 2007, 21:20   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: [BatRep] Tau vs Blood Ravens 1000pts - pic heavy

Thanks, Commander, I'll try. I guess it'll depend on how often I'll be able to play this August, as well as how tough of a fight Farseer DerfDerf et al. will put me through.

Yo, Derf, thanks for the input!

The top-left hill would have bee a great firing position for the devs, but since I was on the extreme right, I think I'd probably still be able to avoid them by staying out of rocket range. They wouldn't have stopped my forward rush and turn though, I think - at least not on their own.

Also, when it comes to ATSKNF, Vec said they still needed to roll to rally, so he did... and failed the rolls... I dunno - my usual policy vs. SMs is to just shoot and hope they go away, so I never really got to know their morale rules.

Anyways, I'll be lookin out for your battle report soon. Don't take too long though, I'm gonna start my second one soon! (It's gonna feature me vs you!)
"That is not dead which can eternal lie.
And with strange aeons even death may die."

- Abdul Alhazred, The Mad Arab of Cthulhu Lore, on the subject of Chaos Tau [link]

"Zomg, teh Tau are teh evil bastardz, they suk at life."
copy and paste this into your sig if you hate Tau.

Proud member of Team CMAP - DON'T HOLD BACK- The time has come to- GALVANIZE!
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Old 09 Jul 2007, 04:51   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: [BatRep] Tau vs Blood Ravens 1000pts - pic heavy

congratulations on the victory. I hate it when I have bad luck.
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Old 11 Jul 2007, 15:54   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: [BatRep] Tau vs Blood Ravens 1000pts - pic heavy

Well, in my defense, I was sort of a noob during this game. We were both trying totally new lists which we haven't used before. Hell, it's my first time ever using a landspeeder or even scouts in any game.

Thinking back now... I really have no idea why I did what I did. I totally shot at the wrong things and could have deployed MUCH better. That alternate plan seems like it would have worked much better. Although like we discussed in person I'm not sure you'd put your stealth suits there if you were to infiltrate them after the ASM were already down. I think that was a particularly weak showing for me. Perhaps when I have time I'll write a battle report from that game with our two Eldar friends. That might take a while though...

I'll see you around Floob! - Vector
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