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[BatRep] Tau vs Eldar 1000pts
Old 14 Jul 2007, 21:18   #1 (permalink)
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Default [BatRep] Tau vs Eldar 1000pts


Here is the second of my past games between myself and other members of my gaming group. Again, it has been illustrated (to a good degree of accuracy) with VASSAL.

This game covered was a match between me and derfderf early this summer. It was a much more ‘complete’ game, though we weren’t able to discuss it to same degree as me and vector had the last game. Instead of going on and on with every thought, I’m gonna try to write more concisely on my strategic/tactical analysis. Again, if you happen to find the reading heavy, feel free to just follow the pictures.


[size=12pt]The Mission:[/size] 1000pt Seek and Destroy Alpha (with infiltrate)

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

[size=12pt]Floobosaurus (T’au Sept):[/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 Piranha)
- 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]derfderf (Ulthwe Eldar):*[/size]


- Singing Spear, Shuriken Pistol
- Doom
- 83 pts


Harlequin Troupe
- 6x Harlequins w. Shuriken Pistols + Harlequin’s Kisses
- 132 pts


Dire Avengers Squad
- Exarch w. Diresword + Shuriken Pistol, Bladestorm
- 9x Dire Avengers w. Avenger Shuriken Catapults
- 157 pts

Guardian Squad
- Warlock w. Singing Spear + Shuriken Pistol, Conceal
- 14x Guardians w. Shuriken Catapults
- Heavy Weapon Platform w. Scatter Laser
- 170 pts

Fast Attack:

Warp Spider Squad
- Exarch w. Exarch Deathspinner
- 5x Warp Spiders w. Deathspinners
- 149 pts

Vyper Squadron A (1x Vyper)
- Scatter Laser, T-L Shuriken Catapult
- 60 pts

Vyper Squadron B (1x Vyper)
- Scatter Laser, T-L Shuriken Catapult
- 60 pts

Heavy Support:

Falcon Grav Tank
- Scatter Laser, Shuriken Cannon, Pulse Laser
- Holo-Field, Spirit Stones
- 185 pts

Total: 996 pts

[size=9pt]* This is just a rough estimate of what I think his list was.[/size]

The planning process for this game began even before I saw his army on the table. In the past, I had been able to take advantage of Derf’s unfamiliarity with the 4th edition Tau and Eldar codexes to achieve victory against his old 3rd edition list. However, with his ongoing list tweaking, I knew that I could no longer rely on this and expected a ‘first encounter’ with an entirely revised list. On the other hand, I knew that he still liked to play in a similar fashion to me and that his list would still follow a similar form. Therefore, as my current list was a ‘Hybrid Tau’ army, derfderf’s could be seen as a ‘Hybrid Eldar’ army.

I saw this ‘Hybrid Eldar’ as having advantages in greater mobility, durability (well, at least in the Falcon, and maybe in some big unit with conceal, fortune, etc.) and had far greater close-range firepower/assault capabilities. On the other hand, my Tau had the advantage of greater mid-range firepower, evasion (i.e.: JSJ, Stealth Field, Kroot, ‘VP denial’) and would probably be able to infiltrate better. I saw the critical strength for the Eldar force as being its mobility, since it relied on this to press home its other advantages. While this was also true of the Tau, for the Eldar this would probably fall mainly onto just one Falcon and one squad of fast Aspects, as opposed to being spread out across a larger number of units as in the Tau (i.e.: my 2 tanks, 8 battlesuits, piranha). Therefore, the Eldar's weakness was their reliance on fewer fast units; I could expect the loss of one of these units to affect his plan more adversely than such a loss on my side. I figured that I would be able to gain the overall advantage over Derf if I managed to eliminate the Falcon and fast Aspects early on. Upon seeing his Falcon and new squad of Warp Spiders hit the table, I knew these units would be my top priority targets.

The mission we chose was Seek and Destroy Alpha, but as usual, we added Infiltrate. The table we used was again a 6’x4’, with jungles in the top-left, center-middle; hills in the top-right (a big one), center-right (a wooded one); farmsteads in the top-middle, bottom-left; and a pond in the bottom-middle.


I put my Broadside down behind the lower right corner of my farm. Because he was so slow, I considered him pretty much a lost cause, but hoped he’d at least make good bait. Either way, it seemed like a good place for him to hole up in before the inevitable end. Derf put his ‘Quinbird behind his farm, so I put my Hammerhead across from it, behind the pond. His Dire Avengers went the back of the top’left jungle, and my Warfish went beside the XV88 to encourage more Eldar his way. Likewise, Derf’s Guardians + HQ were set down to left of the Falcon, between the jungle and his farm. I expected the Warp Spiders to be positioned somewhere to my right, and as I thought, Derf put them into the bottom right of his farm.

He had no infiltrators, so I was free to do as I pleased. I put my Kroot into the central jungle, 7’’ in, as a sort of ‘probing’ unit, while my Stealth teams were put about 28’’ from the Eldar line to act as skirmishers. I wanted the 1st turn advantage, but again, prepared to go second.

[size=9pt]I mistakenly depicted the Guardian squad here as being smaller than it really was. Including the Farseer, it should really have 16 members.[/size]

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

Because our armies have always been very similar in concept, I believed pitting force against force was the best course of action, contrary to the typical way of playing mechanized Tau. Without the speed advantage to easily out-maneuver him, this was probably the best way to leverage my firepower advantage on him quickly. Doing this would also help me assert some control over his maneuvers, at least early on.

I really wanted Derf to go after my Broadside, and whimsically imagined him doing some wide sweeping action with his fast units, across my right flank and into the ’88. Luckily, my better judgment prevailed and I put my Kroot into the central jungle to help me ‘probe’ his plan. If Derf was planning a flanking attack on my right, then they would be able to slow down the Warp Spiders (and hopefully the Harles), preventing my mobile forces from having to shift right to meet them (not doing so in this case could possibly have let Derf surround me, split my firepower and get side shots into my tanks). Otherwise, in the event I had to retreat to the right, they would provide an anchor around which my units could maneuver. Either way, they would meet the enemy first and, according to the kind of treatment they get, they’d give me a clue as to what Derf wanted to do. Meanwhile, my Stealth teams were placed where I thought they could most safely begin wearing down Derf’s footslogging infantry, as well as draw fire away from my other forces (with the help of stealth fields). Getting a head start eliminating his infantry would hopefully keep them from being a problem if they managed to close in.

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

Derf won first turn… I can’t remember the last time I got to go first. Haha, I guess I was kind of expecting this, so good thing the Stealths were so far back!

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

Derf advances all his units forward: DAs into the jungle, the Guardians straight ahead with the Vypers abreast, the Falcon to the lower left of the farm, and the WS to the upper left of the central jungle.
The DAs fleet deeper into the jungle.
Vyper B sights Stealth Team B, but misses.
The Guardians spot Stealth Team A and kill 1. Team A holds.
Vyper A sights Team B, but also misses.
The Falcon fails to sight Team B.
The Warp Spiders are at just the right angle to spot the Kroot, and kill 3. The Kroot hold.
In the Assault Phase, the WS retreat behind the jungle.

I’m disappointed at the stealth field only working once, though being at 24’ and beyond, but tried anyway to concentrate on knocking out the Falcon and Warp Spiders.

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

I move all my units forward, or into LOS of the Eldar. My Warfish boosts in front of Stealth Team B, while my XV88 activates its A.S.S. and lines its sight on the Falcon. Stealth Team B jumps in front of the Warfish, putting them in gun range of the Eldar. Team A follows suit and the Ionhead boosts in behind them. The Crisis suits break cover from the pond, putting them within missile range of the Falcon. My piranha pulls up beside my Hammerhead. I forgot to move my Kroot, but this may have been a good thing in the end.
I focused on shooting the Falcon first.
Both Crisis suits fire missiles at the Falcon, managing only Shaken results.
The Hammerhead fires its Ion Cannon at the skimmer, again shaking it.
The Piranha fires its Fusion Blaster at the tank. Another shake.
It’s now up to my Broadside. It shoots… hits!… Immobilized/Destroyed!! 1 Harlequin is killed and the squad is pinned.
My Stealthsuits fire burst cannons into the Guardians, killing about 5. With the Farseer’s help, the squad holds.
My Warfish fires into the wrecked Falcon, killing 3 more Harlequins. However, with the squad pinned, I decide to ignore them for the next while and try to take out a scatter laser, while still hunting down the Aspect warriors. I still should have shot my gundrones at them though.
Finding themselves withing 12’’ of the Warp Spiders, my Kroot rapid-fire into the squad, killing 2. The Aspects hold.
My Hammerhead fires its SMS into the Warp Spiders, but all wounds are saved.
My Stealth Teams retreat behind my big skimmers, while the XV8s head behind the pond.

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

The Eldar continue to advance, directly forward. The Warp Spiders jump behind the Kroot.
The DAs fleet again and clear the woods.
Vyper B fires on the Warfish, Immobilizing and destroying it (the re-roll was a six). My Firewarriors are pinned, but none die from the crash.
The Guardians fire on the Piranha, destroying it outright. The drones are killed.
Vyper A fires at the FWs and kill 3.
The WSs fire into the Kroot, killing 2. The squad runs, but because the WSs are in the way, they die by No Retreat!**
The WSs jump behind the lower-right part of the central jungle.

**I disagreed with this ruling, but we didn’t contest it too deeply.

At this point, I knew my peachy little theory was wrong, and that Derf was just sweeping forward. His fast/armored units were apparently just there to face mine straight on, while his infantry kept the pressure up by closing distance and pouring out copious laser fire. Even though they were now dead, it was a good thing my Kroot were around to slow down the Warp Spiders; otherwise they probably would have been putting side shots into my Hammerhead, or assaulting my XV8s.

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

Itching for some payback, my Hammerhead pulls up beside the crashed Devilfish, creating a relatively safe place for my mobile units to link up with the rest of my force.*** This would let me put some distance between me and Derf’s fastest units before dishing out some serious hurt. My Firewarriors would also stand a better chance with the extra units there…
My Stealthsuits jump forward, in front of the skimmer wall, while my Crisis take aim from the back.
The Broadside fires SMS into the DAs, killing 2.
The Stealthsuits fire into the Guardians, killing about 5 again.
My Hammerhead kills another Guardian with its Ion Cannon.
The Crisis suits fire all weapons into the remaining Guardians, killing the remaining 2, the Warlock and insta-gibbing the Farseer.
The Hammerhead’s SMS snipes the Warp Spiders, killing 1. The squad flees straight back, behind the jungle.
My battlesuits retreat behind my wrecked Devilfish.

***Just to clarify, the way we play, vehicle wrecks are area terrain – not difficult terrain, but they block LOS, provide 4+ cover, etc.
For me, the game was still very intense at this point, although Derf’s forces have been very badly mauled.

[size=12pt]Turn 3 (Eldar):[/size]

Derf advances his DAs straight ahead, while his Vypers boost in beside them. His remaining 2 Harlequins charge out of their wreck and towards the Tau. The Warp Spiders rally and also try to race back toward the fight, but are limited to 12’’ moves into clear terrain to remain scoring.
The Dire Avengers do not fleet, but Bladestorm the Firewarriors, killing them all.
The Vypers have no eligible target, and do not shoot.

Ever wary of a surprise assault, and, having lost all my Firewarriors so suddenly, I was starting to think on an increasingly short-term basis. From here, I would begin playing in a reactive manner rather than proactive, as my ability to think creatively became more blurred.

<Edited a bit for grammar>
"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 14 Jul 2007, 21:20   #2 (permalink)
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Posts: 550
Default Re: [BatRep] Tau vs Eldar 1000pts

[size=12pt]Turn 3 (Tau):[/size]

My XV25s and Jeb jump on top of the Devilfish to get LOS. My Shas’El jumps into the gap between the ‘fish and the farm, while the Broadside backs up several inches using A.S.S. My Hammerhead retreats behind the farm to avoid a side shot from the Vypers, though at this point I probably didn’t need to do that.
My Shas’El fires on Vyper A, stunning it.
Both the Broadside and Hammerhead use their SMS on Vyper B, stunning it as well.
The XV25s fire into the DAs, killing 2. The squad holds.
Jeb fires into the Harlequins, killing them both.
My battlesuits jump as far back as possible to avoid assault from the remaining DAs. My Shas’El has the best spot, behind the Hammerhead, while the rest can only go straight back. Jeb’s position is left most exposed to assault.

Before beginning his next turn, Derf stated that the game now rested on a successful assault by his DAs. I didn’t really understand what he meant by that point.

[size=12pt]Turn 4 (Eldar):[/size]

Derf’s DAs run up into the gap between the farm and Devilfish wreck, while the Warp Spiders continue to close from the jungle.
The DAs fleet and end up very close to Jeb.
The DAs charge, and massacre the Shas’ui. They consolidate into the XV25s.

I was no longer in much of a thinking state (being out of ideas), and so would be playing a reactive game for the rest of the match.

[size=12pt]Turn 4 (Tau):[/size]

My only thoughts at this point was to escape assault. The Broadside, still using A.S.S., backed 4’’ away from the combat, while my Shas’El walked 6’’ into the farm. I moved my Hammerhead behind the left side of the building.
The HQ suit fired on, and stunned Vyper A again.
My Hammerhead and Broadside again managed to stun Vyper B.
In the Assault Phase, the DAs kill one Stealthsuit, though the suits hold and stay in combat. My Commander jumps out of the farm and in front of my tank.

[size=12pt]Turn 5 (Eldar):[/size]

Derf’s Warp Spiders arrive on the scene, but are just out of charge range of the continuing melee.
The Dire Avengers fail to wound any XV25s this round, but the Tau manage to kill 1 Aspect. Tau win combat! The Eldar flee and manage to run to the Devilfish.

At this point, the game had swung wildly in my favor, though I didn’t see it at the time.

[size=12pt]Turn 5 (Tau):[/size]

My Commander and Hammerhead close to point-blank range of the Vypers, while my XV25s back off a bit from the DAs. My Broadside lurches toward them.
The Stealthsuits fire on the DAs, killing 1 and forcing them to flee behind the Devilfish.
My Broadside uses its SMS on the Warp Spiders, killing 1 and making them flee.
Rapid-firing plasma and missiles from the Shas’El destroy Vyper B.
My Hammerhead also kills Vyper A – not with its ion cannon, but with the SMS.

Derf and I decided to end the game after the shooting phase in Turn 5, as any subsequent turn would just be a turkey shoot for my forces, as they chased down his fleeing troops. With the Eldar left with just one (barely) scoring unit left in play, the Tau are the clear winners, having at least three (the Broadside, Stealth Team B and the Hammerhead).

[size=12pt]Post-Game Reflections:[/size]
For me, this was a very intense game, as I felt I had spent much of it just reacting to derfderf’s game. In fact, the victory had actually come as quite a surprise for me, as I had lost track of how much damage I was doing back to him. However, when we got to talk a bit afterwards, he told me that he didn’t go after my mobile units as earnestly as he could have. It also didn’t help that I’d managed to down his Falcon so quickly, which was also his main source of anti-tank.

All in all, I think this game really showed just what a bit of systematic and thoughtful planning can do for one’s game. By identifying and exploiting my opponent's his critical strength and weakness, I managed to inflict maximum damage to him while limiting the damage he did to me. By setting a couple concrete goals, using knowledge of my opponent and of the army he played (all thanks to you guys at TO!), I was able to create a solid plan of action that mitigated my own errors, misjudgements and 'friction' (ie: losing the brainjuice to think and play proactively).

Several other lessons were learned on my part. Firstly, the difficulty I had with Derf’s Falcon (it took my entire anti-tank selection to bring it down) forced me to seriously rethink my army composition philosophy for the higher points levels. After all, all he needed was a Vectored Engines upgrade, and I would have been stuck with a dangerous gun turret and 6 charging Harles. I am now trying to see if I can add extra Missile Pods or Ion Cannons into my future prospective lists to deal with full-on Mech Eldar armies. Secondly, I was very surprised at the potency of Scatter Lasers in this game, and in fact, I later learned that they were even better than Autocannons against my skimmers. I will definitely be more careful when facing these in the future.

I hope you enjoyed this battle report as much as I enjoyed the actual game.

Thank you.

P.S.: I’m kinda having doubts about the third game I’d been planning to post… Let’s just call this series done for now. If I do any more reports in the future, it’ll probably be for more recent, better-documented games.

[size=12pt]Appendix – Random In-Game Photos:[/size]

My main reason for using VASSAL for these reports has been:

I always forget to take the right pictures at the right times… But, for your extra viewing enjoyment:

[size=11pt]The Stand-off:[/size]

The Tau and Eldar face off for the very first time…

[size=11pt]Commencing Hostilities:[/size]

The two forces fully engaged. A fierce firefight ensues.

<edit> Fixed up a few typos and a rules error.
"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 14 Jul 2007, 22:38   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: [BatRep] Tau vs Eldar 1000pts

Nice battle, I learned quite a bit. But I was wondering why you didn't take a Railhead instead, I mean aside from cost, because the solid shot would have been helpful against the serpent, and the submunition would do away with the infantry. To compensate for the point cost of the railgun you could have taken out the piranha and put in a budget deathrain.
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Old 15 Jul 2007, 09:00   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: [BatRep] Tau vs Eldar 1000pts

Superb BatRep, man. The pictures are really good and helped me visualise the game a lot better, which let me better understand the game and gave me a bit more insight into Eldar tactics. Still, I have to disagree with SUUPAH and say that it was a wise choice to take an ionhead. Against Eldar, they would be more effective as the railhead's solid shot wouldn't do much against the skimmers and the low AP allows it to hunt the heavily-armoured Aspect Warriors.
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Old 15 Jul 2007, 09:49   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: [BatRep] Tau vs Eldar 1000pts

Ions are way better when facing Eldar.
AV 12 vs 3 Ion shoots = allot of glances , and sooner or later you are bound to roll 5+6 or 6+6 and kill their skimmers.
Awesome batrep , and good game.
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Old 16 Jul 2007, 01:01   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: [BatRep] Tau vs Eldar 1000pts

Good job winning. Your ionhead did a good job. I hope you will ahve better luck on vechicle damage next time. Vassal looks good for making pictures.
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Old 16 Jul 2007, 19:19   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: [BatRep] Tau vs Eldar 1000pts

Thanks guys, I'm glad you enjoyed reading this report. This forum's taught me a lot about the game.

Yeah, me and my friends try to play with all-comers lists most of the time. For whatever reason, it seems like kind of like an unofficial policy with us, which is why you probably won't see many severe variations in our lists from game to game.

On that note, railguns are strong enough that you really don't need too many of them to get the job done. Maybe 1-1.5 rails/AV13+ Tank is generally good enough, if backed up by a fusion and a couple MPs/ICs for backup. I generally don't expect more than 1 big vehicle at 1k pts anyway. Since I got a broadside already (which has a better AntiTank railgun), I decided to take an ionhead to better deal with MEqs and smaller vehicles, like falcons.

I did think about adding deathrain, but I already had an ionhead, and the piranha could back up my railgun with its FB. The extra skimmer would also allow me to take the offense easier, and help take some heat off my other two skimmers by drawing off some anti-tank fire, ala MechTau.

Again, thanks for the positive feedback guys.
"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 17 Jul 2007, 14:19   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: [BatRep] Tau vs Eldar 1000pts

Hey Floob,

This was a fun game on my end as well, and it gave me a few ideas for tweaking my list. You're right that VE on the Falcon would have made an impact on the game, but I wonder if sending the Falcon up the middle was a mistake, as it limited my maneuvering options. Either the VE or Shadowseer for the Harlies would have given me a lot more options, and were things I should have had the foresight to put in my list.

I was kind of disappointed in my avengers in the endgame, as, barring bad luck, they should have evened it up in CC. Unfortunately, bad luck prevailed, as 6 of them with the exarch killed nothing, lost combat and ran. Buncha losers.

I actually did consider sending the Vypers to flank your broadside, but I thought better of it :P

As for hammerheads, yeah I fear ions a lot more than rails.

Again, nice job with the batrep, and maybe we'll have another go in August (get back to me on that).

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Old 17 Jul 2007, 18:12   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: [BatRep] Tau vs Eldar 1000pts


One way or another, you made me play a very reactive game. I guess regardless of what your falcon did, I was gonna have to stick my Hammerhead and Crisis on it, so I guess you could have saw your deployment choice as not-so-much limiting your manuever, but limiting mine. I guess if you went with wider movements, I may have been able to find more openings through which to do my own manuevers. In the end you had me backed up against a corner, so your deployment probably wasn't such a bad thing at all.

I really hate all those fancy upgrades you eldar get. They definately would have changed things that game. Your stuff wasn't exactly easy to take down though, even without that stuff, so I really wouldn't know whether you'd really need it for 1k pts. Then again, all this proves is that I'm really scared of eldar upgrades.

Well, I guess we'll have to see in August then. Hopefully everybody can make it out this time. I still haven't gotten a decent place to work yet, so you'll probably see me with exactly the same list next time.
"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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