Ok, the game was not that epic fail, but a couple errors in target priority followed by an epic middle finger from the dice led to...bad things for the Tau.
In general, I think that the Imperial Guard are likely to be a nasty matchup for me. The opponent was my long-time friendly nemesis Jon.
His list looked like:
Company Command Squad in Chimera
Psyker Battle Squad in Chimera
2-3 Melta-vet squads in Chimera
Camper Vets w/ Lascannon, camo cloaks, grenade launchers
Vets w/ 2x melta, heavy flamer
Platoon (Chimera Command squad w/ flamers, 2x autocannon infantry teams, mortar team)
Devildog w/ heavy flamer
2x Regular Russes
Russ Exterminator (the ignores-cover one)
Naturally, every vehicle that COULD have a hull heavy flamer, had one.
I ended up going first in Dawn of War with 5 objectives. Ultimately, I lost, but some highlights included:
1) Commander being used experimentally to push back his deployment, and surviving just about everything that he drew fire from in one turn, taking only one wound. (About 5 multi-laser shots, a battle cannon, a few autocannon shots...in fairness, he was pushing them back from deploying on an objective)
2) He hides his Nova Cannon Russ. I hit it with 5 markerlights; killing its cover save and handing a Hammerhead a BS5 shot. It promptly misses.
3) My Broadsides lose a shield drone off one wound in the shot. They flub the morale check, and run off the board.
4) One Kroot squad sitting on an objective goes to ground, fails 5/8 saves inflicted on it. Promptly runs off the board.
5) Other Kroot Squad flubs just enough saves to cause a check at Ld2. (THank you, psyker squads.) They, too, run off the board.
6) Know what happens when you accidentally give a battle cannon a shot at Crisis Suits? Hint: Not Pretty
Psyker Battle Squads
If you have footslogging units that aren't fearless, KILL those things. Fast. I passed up a shot, but that's because I had vets bearing down on me that needed dying and...my Broadsides had just run off.
I see now the value of guys that are fearless, vehicles, and Stupid Morale Tricks like space marines.
Watch that LOS
Very costly with battle cannons on the loose. I think until they get vaped, I'm eating dangerous terrain tests or something like that with battlesuits.
Use those railguns before you lose 'em. Granted, outflanking Vendettas hurt Hammerheads, especially when his dice are hot and yours are not. Overall, this is what hurt me. I did not stop the psykers fast enough. If I'd stopped them, I'd probably been able to preserve enough troops to hold my objectives, and maybe force a draw/narrow win as opposed to, y'know, getting smashed.
In the Grim Darkness of the Far Future, There Is Precious Little Forgiveness
...this game just kinda drove it home. I'm pretty sure that I can make these guys nasty, but I think Guard's always gonna be a problem with their ranged power.
Kroot Shields, FTW
No, I'm not naming the blog that. (Looking at you, Elessar...) But, I did successfully deny him an easy melta-outflank with kroot placement on one flank. Given guard's rapid deployment of reserves, it only needs to hold for a little bit.
Rail Guns Are Cool
Say it with me. Just say it with me. BBs at mach 5 are just win. As long as you keep them alive and they don't fail a freaking morale check and run off the board.