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First tournament mini-batreps
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Old 09 Mar 2009, 03:54   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default First tournament mini-batreps

This afternoon, I played in my first tournament (which was only my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Fifth Edition games). The tournament had eight players, had a 1500 point limit, and used the 'Ard Boyz scenarios. For my first tourney, I tried out a hybrid Tau list (viewable here) using a static gunline and mobile heavy hitters.

First Round: Spearhead, Seize Ground
Opponent: Chaos Marines assault army

My opponent was running a Khornite army, with 2 close-combat Defilers, a squad of Terminators running with Abaddon, a Dreadnought with a heavy flamer and extra armor, and 2 Rhinos full of Berzerkers. On the first turn, I was able to immobilize one of the Defilers with a railgun shot, which rendered it useless for the game - he was never able to land a shot on anything with the cannon. However, that was the one bright moment of the game for me. Being at table quarters kept his army out of pulse rifle range for the first turn, and although I eventually whittled the Terminators down to 2, the armor saves were just slowing me down. His Dreadnought and Rhinos popped smoke, leaving me unable to do anything but glance them with my Hammerheads. Then, his Dreadnought came down my flank and started clearing out Fire Warriors with its Heavy Flamer. None of my Crisis Suits did terribly well, which I mostly blame on me not using their mobility to the fullest. I was able to cut down the figure count on several enemy units (and land two wounds on Abaddon), but I never did manage to kill any unit completely. The only upshot is that he only had one troop on an objective at the end of turn 5.

MVP: One of the Hammerheads, which both immobilized his Defiler and survived the entire game.

Second Round: Dawn of War, Annihilation
Opponent: Tau Positional Relay army

His army wasn't completely different from mine, but the differences were a major factor in my loss. He had two Railheads, a squad of 3 Broadsides, two units of Fire Warriors, a unit of Kroot in reserve, a couple of Deathrain suits, and a suit with Twin-linked Flamers. This game went very quickly, as we both knew how each other's army worked. The first couple of turns had our Hammerheads lobbing railgun shots at each other. By the end of the game, we'd lost both our Railheads, but his Broadsides kept him with Railgun shots 'til the end of the game (one of which one-shotted my Commander on turn 6). Again, flamers were my bane, as his Flamer monat wreaked havoc when he deep struck it alongside one of my squads of Fire Warriors. I eventually killed it, but it had already more than made up its point cost. I did manage to stop him from making use of his relay, however. One of my squads of Fire Warriors was able to kill two Gun Drones from his HQ unit and drive it from the board with a failed morale check. There were a number of those in the game; I lost two units to fleeing off the board, including my monat. His Kroot did eventually come in on turn 4, rolled up an FW unit, and just stayed where they were, as I could keep avoiding them at that point. In the end, we'd both done a fair amount of damage to each other, but he outplayed and outdamaged me - I had one Deathrain suit and one Fire Warrior (not a squad, just a warrior).

MVP: The lone Fire Warrior shas'ui, who managed to tie up a Crisis Suit (along with his unit) for 3 turns in assault.

Third Round: Dawn of War, Capture and Control/Annihilation
Opponent: Jetbike Eldar

This game was amusing, as this was my friend's army, and his first 40k games since 2nd Edition. His army list is available here. Frankly, his dice were not his friends in this game. On the other hand, Hammerheads were his bane. He lost his Banshees to submunitions on turn 2, and his Dire Avengers to the same on turn 3. My pathfinders lit up his Autarch on turn 2, who was promptly cut down in a hail of plasma fire and missiles. They then held off a unit of Harlequins in assault for a turn. Meanwhile, his Shining Spears came down the side of the board and rolled up a unit of FWs, but this left them wide open for flamer fire from the two Deathrain suits. His jetbikes didn't fare much better; one tried assaulting a Hammerhead, managed to stun the crew, but then was shot apart by a unit of FWs. The Warlock survived, only to get taken down by flechettes from the Hammerhead on the next turn. At the end of the round, Jain Zar was making her way towards my objective and the two FW squads that held it, and my Commander was one jump away from shooting apart his Dark Reapers. His overall plan was to rush me, but it didn't pay off in the end; my Fireknives were untouched, as were my Deathrains, my monat had a unit of Jetbikes tied up in assault, and he was running out of options.

MVP: The Hammerhead that wiped out his Howling Banshees. If they'd been around to assault, things might have turned out a bit differently.

As for lessons I took away from the tournament:
- Template weapons are stupidly good. I don't know if I'd take too many more (although a throwaway suit with TL flamers can be nasty), but I have to find a way to make them less damaging.
- The lone suit with the TL burst cannons would work better without gun drones. It was an interesting experiment, but it didn't pay off at all today. It never once got to even fire, and the gun drones were a liability morale-wise.
- I need at least one more Devilfish. Having more mobility, as well as not being out in the open, would have helped greatly.
- Spearhead deployment does not work well for me; I need a better plan for it.
- Assault armies with hard-to-kill units are not a good match for me.
- Hammerheads are completely worth their points, thanks to their flexibility.
- Disruption pods are too good not to take on every vehicle.

In the end, I placed next-to-last. However, the day wasn't completely winless - I did win the "Best Painted Army" award!
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Old 09 Mar 2009, 06:14   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: First tournament mini-batreps

Nice write up!

If I were to give any advice, I would start with changing up your FW teams. You have too many points tied up into them. Either maker them 12 Tau strong, or drop them down to 6 and drop the TL and BKs (especialy if they are going to become Mechanized). You could also switch a FW Team for some Kroot. Or you could drop a team or two altogether.

Otherwise, you did a good in self review.

As to railguns, there are only two cases Tau can have in my experience: too many, or too few. At 1500 points, I have seen some armies do very well with just 2, but I myself need at least 3. The sad thing is I would love to take 4+, but by then you are sinking too many points into heavy support.

This is probably the greatest argument for taking Broadsides. On the one hand you need those sub-munition shots from the Hammerhead to destroy infantry once the armor is gone; on the other hand you are spending around 200 points per gun for those sub-munition options.

You did well for your first tournament, and for your second day of gaming.




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Old 09 Mar 2009, 16:09   #3 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Re: First tournament mini-batreps

Going more mechanized is a must, it seems. The main reason I've been static is due to having only one usable Devilfish (my second has broken engine pods that will have to be glued on rather than being poseable). I do plan to get at least two additional 'fish in the next month or two, but for now I'm going into battle with the army I have. Once I do go mechanized, yes, smaller squads will be the order of the day (and probably only 3 squads, rather than 4).

As far as Broadsides, I made a promise to myself not to buy too many more major components until I got caught up on my army painting a bit more, but I do eventually plan to have at least a two-man squad of these. They're too useful not to have, and they're tough as nails, especially with a Shield Drone or two thrown in for good measure (of which I have spares).

Finally, I think I might replace the TL burst cannon suit with a TL flamer suit; those things are ridiculously effective.
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Old 09 Mar 2009, 21:45   #4 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: First tournament mini-batreps

Well you seem to have your thoughts well organized, and you have a plan for moving forward. If I were high command, I would approve of your plans.

It is good to see new players being so focused. Many people do not think these things out ahead of time, but you have. I look forward to seeing the contributions you shall make to the Tau Empire.
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