Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Battle Report 1500 point Tau Vs. 1500 Lysander Marines

Every Tuesday night is open 40K at Universe games in Minneapolis, I haven't gone before because the parking is horrible, but I managed to find a good spot, and I had a buddy along to take pictures. (i cant wait to get the Flip for video battle reports) I decided to get a game in before the tournament on sat. I will play some more games on thursday.

This battle was 1500. I didn't take a pos'el, which is weird for me, but i decided to see how much i rely on it, through it's absence.

My list:
A variation on my 2000 point list:
Christmas Commander
2 Super Knives

1x3 Fireknives

1 Suicide Suit with twin linked fusion blasters
and a targeting array!!! ( which i totally forgot about grrr)

2 Devilfish with 6 firewarriors
disruption pods on those

1 10 person Kroot Squad

5 Pathfinders in a devilfish
Disruption pod

2 piranhas with 4 seeker missiles

2 rail heads with D-pods, multitrackers and burst cannons

His list

Lysander with Terminators max size
power fists and crazy lysander stuff

Another unit of terminators max size
whatever basic terminators have plus an assault cannon(i think)

2 units of marines in rhinos (however many the max can fit into a rhino)

two dreadnoughts with multi-meltas

and a vindicator tank with the demolisher cannon

Deployment was table side, seize objective, and there were 5 objectives.

He won the roll off and opted to go first, which was fine by me because it was an objective based mission.

The marine player I was up against was very nice and polite, there was a Tau player at a different table who saw that I was taking two piranhas and said I was stupid for taking piranhas, and there is no reason they should be in any army list due to the fact they are open topped, and have stupid weapons and BS and generally fail at everything. I told him those piranhas were going to win me the game, and he went over to his tau gun line army versus spore pod nids match up :P

My opponent had 2 units of terminators in reserve, I kept the devilfish, kroot, suits, and piranhas in reserve. I had the hammerheads out on the field, as well as the pathfinders.
I used my scout move to move the pathfinders up on the left side and deploy the drones for cover saves and the pathfinders behind the drones. In this picture you can see the one objective by his dread and rhinos on the near field, there is one more objective in the middle of the board that you can see and there are three objectives on the far side in a triangle formation all around 15 inches apart, one of which is hidden behind the round rock.

He went first and ran his dreadnaughts, moved up his rhinos and popped smoke with both. His vindicator took a shot at the hammerhead but I cover saved it.

On my first turn the lower hammerhead blew up the rhino (even though he popped smoke)
The other hammerhead got a weapon destroyed on the rhino trying to move up the far side with the dreadnaught. I wanted use use my Hammerhead on the near side to pull forces away from where I was concentrating my army, so that's why he was all by himself unsupported, I wanted to make sure he got a lot of attention. On the far side i was hoping to get some reserves in to slow down that dread.

His turn 2
Lysander comes down on his turn 2 but the other termies remain in reserve. My plan works out as Lysander comes down in front of the exploded rhino, his intended target looks to be the distracting lone hammerhead. His remaining rhino pulls back out of site near the point of the hidden objective triangle in the center. The Vindicator lets loose again, this time hitting but not glancing or penetrating at all. He runs at my pathfinder devilfish with the dread, trying to close for melee next turn. His marines opposite my distracting hammerhead just consolidate their position around the objective.

My Turn 2

Piranhas, Kroot, and both Devilfish pop on to the field. I really didn't want the devilfish coming on this early, and part of me was thinking "should have brought the positional relay", but oh well.
I wanted the Kroot to come on, on the pathfinder side of the map to hunker down on an objective, but they didn't. (In hindsight I should have placed an objective on some trees and sat the kroot in there infilitrating and going to ground for +2 cover) Instead the Kroot came on near enough to the exposed marines to assault. The two devilfish came in side by side next to the supporting hammerhead, and the piranhas turboboosted on getting parrallel with the dread.

In my shooting phase the distracting hammerhead put a wound on Lysander (and I totally forgot to move the hammer head, it was stationary which was a bonehead move, but it is still serving it's purpose as distraction.)

The supporting Hammerhead immobilizes the Vindicator, but the Vindicator is in a good spot so that's still ok for the marine player. The pathfinders light up the dread that is getting too close and I let loose with all 4 seeker missiles on the Piranhas. Dread goes down and there are no more threats to the pathfinders (point 1 why piranhas are awesome). Kroot lose half their numbers in the assault and break, but they are fast enough to run away, still being at half strength or above they have a chance to regroup and threaten the farside objective.

His turn 3
His other unit of terminators come down near my pathfinders. His exposed marines hang out by their objective, the remaining dread charges and the kroot stick around to fight. Lysander moves into charge range, and since I didn't move that stupid tank he easily kills it, however it explodes and I claim the life of 1 terminator. The terminators that came down near the pathfinders open fire and kill 2 of them.The remaining rhino hides, the vindicator shoots but cover saves protect again.

My Turn 3
This picture is a little screwy, because it is taken after his terminator unit that came down by pathfinders unit dies, very unfortunately.

In my turn all three crisis units come down. The suicide suit scatters closer to the rhino, but it will still be hitting side armor, the other 2 squads of suits scatter down just outside of rapid fire range, which is good, so I can't get assaulted when the rhino pops. The piranhas and two devilfish move up, the piranhas deploy their drones so that the Terminators are surrounded on all sides. The pathfinders light up the terminators and give the piranhas BS5 and reduce the leadership of the terminators by 1.

The piranhas, drones, devilfish, and hammerhead manage to kill 3 terminators (no firewarriors got out), forcing a morale check, the terminators roll 11 , and with nowhere to run, are killed because of the DRONES FROM THE PIRANHAS (there ya go buddy, that is point two why piranhas are awesome).

Even with twinlinked I failed to roll a 4 to hit the remaining rhino with my twin linked fusion, I CANNOT believe I forgot I had a targeting array on that thing, because it would have been popped, but nope, rolled a 3, then a 2 to hit. The Christmas commander with super knives as well as the other unit of fireknives also failed to pop the rhino, but they did manage to immobilize it. Kroot are still stuck in close comabt with a dread that cannot get a hit to save it's life.

His turn 4
Lysander runs towards my main force. Dread finally kills the kroot. And Vindicator manages to blow up one of my devilfish. None of the firewarriors die in the explosion, but 1 gun drone does.

My Turn 4
Piranhas turbo boost towards his exposed marines in order to contest their objective on turn 5. I have 1 score-fish on an objective, and one unit of firewarriors in a crater that Lysander is running straight towards. The pathfinders light up Lysander's unit and the firewarriors let loose, but outside of rapid fire range, they still manage to take down 2 terminators ( i think i missed one dying to burst cannon fire somewhere from the distracto hammer head), All of my suits fail to do anything to the rhino, so the suicide suit does what he does best and charges the rear armor and finally wrecks it.

His turn 5
Lysander barrels for my firewarriors, with his unit, easily killing them. He moves his troops from the recently popped rhino to hold the hidden objective point (hidden because you cannot see it, not because it is a secret). He takes some shots at my suits but the hq passes with the shield gen save versus a krak missile and their bolter fire bounces off as well. The remaining dread moves back to support the marines on his side.

My turn 5
Piranhas boost to contest his "safe" objective. Suicide suit fails to wound anythning from shooting but moves up to contest, fire knives and christmas commander do some more sucky shooting. Both his objectives he has are contested, I have 1 uncontested objective with scorefish, end of turn game ends on a 1. Tau win by 1!!! (Point 3 why piranhas are awesome)

As noted above there were a couple of things I could have remembered or done differently, but even with the crappy offensive rolling (except against the one terminator unit that fled from burst cannon fire) my tactics still rang true. I am tired now, I will reply to any comments or questions. This was a good run in prep for the tourney on sat.


  1. Hi,

    Nice battle report, the pics really helped the report.

    I'm so tempted to use pihranas for the last turn turboboost objective contesting, but I don't know what to lose in my list to fit them in. I may try losing a broadside and a crisis suit to afford a unit of 2.

    How effective do you find the seekers on the pihranas ? Not being AP1 do they struggle popping transports ? Instead of 4 seekers you could get an extra deathrain that fires every turn rather than just 4 times.


  2. Rathstar- That is a good observation about the seeker point cost. One of the main reasons they are on there is to improve the psychology game for the pathfinders, so that people know the pathfinders can still threaten with anti tank. Most of the time my goal is to make pathfinders a priority target for the enemy, but in this game my opponent had a slower army, so i felt I could more easily defend them and I wanted to have access to the marker lights to boost my shooting. In this game it paid off with 4 shots against a dread. I have a lot of anti-tank, so I am not too worried about the lack of AP1 on the seekers, but in this game my anti-tank performance was below standard for what I usually accomplish.

    Generally I will try to use all my seekers in one salvo if possible, because the piranhas do tend to turn themselves into targets if the opponent knows what I am going to do with them.

    I really like broadsides, they offer a lot of hitting power and give you a big bonus in the psychology game. I don't use them because they are not a part of my current play style, but I would not sub out a broadside for a piranha. If you want to send me a sample list i can take a look and see how to move some points around to get 2 or more piranhas in, but you def need at least 2, in my opinion.

    You should also check out OSH at the Tau of war blog, he has some good insights on piranhas as well.


  3. Very nice batrep. As Rathstar said, the pictures make a huge difference.

    I'm not a huge fan of Pathfinders - they've never worked terribly well for me - but I like how you screened them with gun drones before turn one, and how you created synergy between them and the Piranhas. I've started using a pair of Piranhas in my list, and I'm really liking how they're working out. I particularly like your use of them for that last-minute contesting rush.

    Good luck this Saturday! Hopefully, your list and your tactics will serve you as well then as they did here.

  4. I can't say enough good things about piranhas, I like them a lot and they offer the ability to rapidly respond to whatever your opponent may do. If you have second turn, then they are ridiculous in a seize ground or capture and control mission.

  5. Good job man.

    I looked up positional relay since you mentioned it on my blog, and I have to say I really dig it. I understood what you meant about controlling drops in late game.

    I only played the Tau that once, but they've taken hold in my imagination now. Maybe after my store's event I'll put an army together.


  6. @brent Pos relay is awesome

    Played some practice games last night in prep for the tourney. Did lots of silly things and lost all three practice games, 2 were KP, which i have a hard time with anyway due to the fact I have 23 KP.

    Will post the vid battles later today. Hopefully the tournament will be better, they were all good games, except the one where chaos got more kill points off of me than he had in his army, so I lost by turn 3.

    Here's to no silly mistakes or forgetting to shoot with a hammer head for the tournament.

  7. @Kroxitau: Thanks for the offer to look at my list to see how to fit in pihranas. The list I'm currently using is in the following blog post: http://rathstarramblings.blogspot.com/2010/01/new-tau-army-list-gets-test-run-part_31.html

    I see 3 ways to fit in a unit of 2 pihranas:
    1) Lose one broadside, the broadside leader's target lock & 1 fireknife
    2) Lose one of my two unit of pathfinders and their devilfish (I could also swap a hammerhead for a skyray so that I still have two sources of markerlights)
    2) Lose the pathfinders (but give their devilfish to the fire warriors), lose a fireknife & 2 kroot hounds

    Are any of these options any good, or is there a better way to fit the pathfinders in.

    I reassessing my thoughts on seeker missiles. The ability for the pihranas to zoom 24" into a vehicles rear arc for the pathfinders to fire the seekers could be a surprising tactic especially against waveserpents with their annoying wavefield. If I use option 3 to fit the pihranas in I may as well reduce them down to 10 to fit 2 seekers on the pihranas.

    Thanks again for the advice, I'm even more inspired to paint up the two pihranas that arrived from ebay this week :)


  8. Pos relay is not as useful as I first thought.