Saturday, September 5, 2009

Training, For the Greater Good

Short summary, today. I went up against an IG player who's relatively new, and who I'm trying to do a bit of tutoring.

Naturally, I rolled with the Hybrid Tau. His list was something like:

IG 1850
Company Command Squad w/ Standard, Vox, Medic
2x 5-man Stormtrooper Squads w/ 2x Melta, Deep Strike mission
Platoon w/ 5 infantry squads; done in two large 20 or 30-man squads (latter w/ Commissar) and voxes, Mortar Squad, Missile Launcher Squad
'toon command w/ grenade launchers, vox
Vets w/ Camo Cloaks, lascannon, 3x sniper rifles
2x (separate) Hellhounds w/ Hull Heavy Bolters
3x Sentinel scouts w/ autocannons
2x (Separate) Russes w/ Lascannon, Heavy Bolter Sponsons

Kill Points, Pitched Battle

He ended up with first turn, so, I...hid. Crisis Suits out of LOS/in cover, Hammerheads as hidden as they'll get, and so on. Fire Warriors? They sat in reserve. Kroot-screens in place, naturally. My Commander sat with the Broadsides, to buff their leadership.

First turn casualties? Hammerhead, and the Devilfish. Ow. I did NOT like losing that, and the Hellhound had come up to threaten my Kroot/Pathfinders. He did, though, err and spread out, but we discussed it and I doubt he'll do it again. (I actually just finished firing off a large post-battle report. This is, honestly, a bit of how I teach. Some suggestions in-game, then I mull over the game and think about what could've gone differently. I also try to exchange basic after-action reports after every game, as I think they're simply invaluable).

I retaliate; a few Rail Guns of fail later, I've...KO'ed the Basilisk. Knocked out a missile team, forced a morale check, and...not much. I'm feeling on the ropes. Comically, my Fire Warriors want to join in on turn 2. Yeah. Why don't you guys go hide. Piranhas advance, pop a Hellhound on the far flank. Suits glance the other Hellhound, convince it to fall back, and his sentinels start working over my pathfinders.

Turn 2 feels crappy still; one Piranha goes KABOOM and some more pathfinders die.

Eventually, my dice get warmer, and I go on a killing spree. His...don't. He advances infantry up to menace me, and they absorb LOTs of fire. My Railguns finally start functioning. Shooting ensues, things turn around. His Deep-striking meltaguns (which were, in fairness, a bit of 'what I had on hand') don't have an impact, but my Commander beats the piss out of one last Kasrkin in assault. It gives him a warm and fuzzy feeling.

At the end of the game, turn 5, the casualties look like:

1 Russ
Full Sentinel Squad
20-man infantry squad (Rail Gun submunitions + markerlights = chunky s'ghetti sauce)
30-man squad is falling back below half strength
2 Hellhounds
Heavy Weapon Team (Missiles)
2 Storm Trooper squads


My Piranhas had lost one, but the Gun Drones ran off to avoid gruesome retaliation. I'd lost a crisis suit or two, but no full squads.

Crowning Moment of Awesome
My Commander (after having detached to make SURE those first melta-vets died) sidles up into rapid-fire range of the advancing sentinels, levels his weapons...and promptly KILLS all three sentinels in a volley of plasma and missile fire. (Ok, then the lascannon punks him in cover, but it was AWESOME).

Guard Moment of Awesome is the Basilisk just calling the shot and EXPLODING the Devilfish, turn one. And, of course, the shot that nuked the Hammerhead. That was a pretty demoralizing first round, flubbing cover saves on EXPENSIVE VEHICLES that proceeded to go ker-poof.

Secondary Guard moment of Awesome: his other Leman Russ absorbed about 3-4 Railguns AND a fusion gun shot, never getting more than Stunned.

Crowning Moment of Fail
Goes to the Piranha and the dead Russ. Piranha gets a point-blank flank shot on the russ. Misses. Russ rotates, brings every last weapon to bear on the Piranha. Misses. Piranha skims over Russ, tries again in rear. Detonates Russ.

My Failguns (er, Railguns) in the first turn. Please, it's a Basilisk, you need to hit and roll a 2+. SO IT ROLLED A '1' to penetrate. Thank you, FailureHead.

Guard Vet Lascannon. Only ONCE did it actually hit, but then it poofed the Commander as retaliation for nuking three sentinels in a go. (Totally worth it, though).

Some Tau Lessons
Hide better against guard on turn one.

Crisis Suits are perfectly fine hiding in buildings and risking difficult terrain checks to get in/out of LOS. It beats waiting for Battle Cannons to fall on your head. Walk out, shoot, jump back.

Commander's probably best-fielded in the Broadsides early on against shooty opponents for that Ld9.

Target Priority is Your Friend: follow through on it.

Crisis Suits are also abject terrors against lighter-weight armor. The Commander's murder-spree against the Sentinels was proof enough for that. I was just kind of stunned when he did that, and so was my opponent.

It's Not Over In Turn One
Though damn if I didn't feel like I'd been shoved against the ropes right off the bat. Ah, well. That's why we bring multiple railgun platforms.


Anthony Yeates said...

And that is why sentinels aren't that impressive against Tau! I played a game agains't my freinds traitor guard, he had a single chimera in his list, that thing absorbed 4 railgun slugs, a dozen missels and countless SMS and burst cannon fire and all it did was destroy it's laser and it's tracks. Amusingly the Ogryn inside where much more obliging and died in a single turn.

Raptor1313 said...

In fairness, he'd advanced them a bit too far for their own good, but it's still something that Crisis Suit missile pods would've sorted, once their number came up.