Sunday, May 23, 2010

Guns don't kill people, Blood Angels kill people.

Played a very fun, albeit tense, game today versus Pavonis. The deployment was pitched and the scenario was capture and control. I was given first turn and chose the table side I wanted. All the BA assault squads were deep striking in, so I puffed out and made it very difficult to deep strike in anywhere good.

I was able to lure some of the assault squads away with kroot in woods, but they didn't last long. I was gonna skootch up and out to the right with my main force but 1 squad of blood angels came in and stopped me from sweeping up, even after 90% of my army shot at them, they were still alive and able to charge next turn to take out a crisis team.

I think I should not have deployed by my objective so that he would have had to choose to come down by me, or by my objective.

I should have infiltrated with kroot.

I wish my firewarrior squad had not come in on turn 2.

Other than that I thought the dice were pretty fair with some good and some bad on both sides.

Any other hints on what to do versus 55 FNP assault marines? Even if my suits had been fireknives I would not have had enough plasma shots to stop the red tide. I thought he had a really good list, especially with the current meta being mostly mech.



  1. Wow! That was a tough game. It's hard to see Tau get wrecked like that. Good thing you had a camera with you though, as now you can study and learn more from the game.

    The new blood angels codex unfortunately make the deathrain configuration obsolete (as you noted in the video). Even with re-rolls to hit and 2+ to wound, twin-linked missile pods just aren't going to do enough damage to marines with FNP getting their 3+ armor, then the 4+ FNP roll. So first thing against an army like this, would be trade in all those deathrains for Helios suits (Fusion Blasters and Plasma). This makes it a pretty scary prospect to deepstrike down close to the Tau line as deepstriking typically leaves you out in the open without cover. Helios suits would have fried them. I've also found new interest in the Ion Cannon over the railgun on my hammerheads...

    You've got to have enough AP1,2,3s out there to fry units in one go. The goal is to wipe out whole squads as they deepstrike down, using your army's range and mobility to focus fire.

    Other thing I noticed is that your kroot were deployed at the start of the game. Againt FNP marines, kroot are going to do nothing but get killed, better to outflank all of them for an objective grab.

    What deployment was this? Spearhead? Your opponents objective looks like it was set up incorrectly, because with C&C the objective has to be in your deployment zone. It looks a little out there but I could be wrong.

    Rough game to play huh? Any army (space wolves, chaos, tyranids) would have gotten wrecked the first time against a list like this, so don't beat yourself up over it.

  2. With pitched battle deployment, capture & control mission, and going first, I think with my mixed Tau army against all deepstrikers, I would deploy everything and turtle using skirmisher layers (Piranha, Kroot) to protect my more valuable and dangerous units.

    For what it's worth, that's why I run small groups of Kroot: there's very little chance that they will tie up units. If they're assaulted, then they're likely to die, allowing me to shoot the enemy.

    Also, if you're able, put the two objectives far apart and set up your turtle deployment between them so that you have the choice which one to call your own and which one to contest. Put off this decision as long as possible.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Oh crap. I had it in my head that we were playing Seize Ground. I guess we need a rematch to make it totally fair. Ok, so where would I have put my obj...Prob on the same side as you placed yours in that small hunk of terrain.
    You asked for some suggestions. I'll give you my opinion (as a non-Tau player)...I probably would have put the Skyray way off to a side and forced me to commit forces to it. The Skyray would also have been more of a target priority if I hada vehicles. Maybe ran the piranha’s as cover for it and then turbo boosted them as you did. I may also have left room to bring on the devilfish with the troops and park it on your obj. Then circled the wagons and make me destroy the vehicles to get close enough to contest. If you note, I only destroyed one vehicle, but immobilized 2 more on that section of the board. It would have taken me at least another turn to get through them. I agree, I think you should have kept your shooty vehicles away from your obj and make me commit forces away from it. I would probably also brought the Kroot in to both forests surrounding your objective since they are troops. A good tactic against jump troops is to set yourself deep into the area terrain. I can't jump into the cover without risk (as you saw I lost one guy by trying), and then on the assault, I have to roll much higher than 1" on the die to assault you. I also agree with OSH, outflanking the Kroot could have made a contest for my obj wherever I placed it and I probably would have only had one squad sitting on it. Your Kroot prob would have been enough to pull me off.
    I do think that your weapon load was for predominately light vehicle so low shot volume, but high AP so both worked against you today. Maybe swap out one or two of your crisis units to the plasma load out you mentioned.
    But you are right, 55 FNP marines with Furious Charge did well against a shooty army. You know the adage…assault the shooty and shoot the assault. Though I did say I wanted to try something off the wall and totally different than the current mech heavy (razorback spam) lists. I actually enjoyed it more than I thought. I just wanted to try it honestly to eliminate it as a possibility so I wouldn’t always wonder. Now I’m wondering if I should buy more jump packs. Heh.
    Thanks for the great game!

  5. @OSH:

    1 kroot was in cover the second unit of kroot came in from outflanking on turn 2 before BA even started to drop in.

    Kroot weren't gonna do anything except pull people off objectives, which they did, although not far enough to matter.

    @Pavonis: definitely should have been further in cover with those kroots, and you are right about the vehicle deployment.

    If I trade in all my Deathrains then I say bye bye to my range. Yeah I'll have 1 plasma shot at 24 inches, and that is a lot of points to spend on staying at 24". When they get closer I will have one round of max shooting before they go lights out. Then again without plasma I can't do enough damage to marines. I will also have to deal with the preponderance of mech still, so I can fight close range or long range, but if I am fighting close range chances are I am gonna get eaten in combat.

    I want to keep 3 units of suits as well. One of which I will run as fireknives or helios and see how they do.

    It is tough because I have to reach a balance between fielding an army that I like versus one that works and those two are not always coterminous.

    Also the tournaments are still mech heavy.

    All in all it was a good game and I have gotten some ideas from it.

  6. Don't forget you can miz your crisis suit units. You might want to field units like this:

    Shas'UI Team Leader: Target Array, Fusion Blaster, PLasma rifle, HWMT, HWTL
    2x Shas'Ui: Plasma Rifles, 'Tracker, Missile Pods

    That gives you some range with the 2 missile pods and 7 AP2 or better shots at close range.

  7. @OSH mixing crisis suits is a good idea, but I also am trying to keep their points low but that is definitely something to keep in mind. (yay for magnetized suits!)

    I am still seeing a decent amount of mistakes in my deployment and maneuvering so I am not about to completely overhaul everything just yet.

    I wonder how effective a helios, fireknife, and deathrain would be in a squad?

  8. Paint your models. It's my experience that once you paint your model it does so much better. Just a little superstision (oh I can't spell!) I afford myself:)

    Also, tankshock. I don't know how you would feel about it but I think you can only death or glory with a model directly in the path of the tank shocking and thus avoid the nasty guys like klaws, hammers, meltas, etc. Take a peek at the rules again. I kind of disliked the rule when I heard about it (Jawaballs I think) but the rules are the rules after all.

  9. @Flekkzo

    I though that was the case but Pavonis said that any model in the unit can. I will double check to make sure. He is a nice guy I am sure if he sees this he will double check too.

    Got six tanks to the point where i just need to do some detail work then I am done. I will report on the increase in their effectiveness!

    how about change the deathrains to H, FK, DR combined arms squads

    take out 1 broadside and the skyray to add 2 sniper drone teams

    change the death rain HQ back to my standard HQ

    keep the seeker missiles on the remaining tanks

    in a 2000 point list

    in lower lists I would cut the third man on the suits, take 6 pathfinders on each squad and who knows what else.


  10. Yea, everyone knows painted models roll better. ;)
    I did double check. The Death or Glory! states when a unit is tank shocked, one of its models may be designated to do a Death or Glory!. Nothing about having to be in its path. It could have been in 4th ed, I hear a lot of things worked like templates could only hit a model under it which is not the case in 5th.
    I tell ya, one Tau unit I have trouble with is the Stealth Suits. ;) I think it is the combination of weaponry, flanking and obscurement makes them something that has to be dealt with.
    One other note, the way you puffed up really did help you. I couldn't get a lot of rear armor on the deep strike.

  11. From my experience, painted models usually are the first to fail and the first to die. :)

    Anyways, I think that BA list was almost tailored to wreck your army. FnP is gross, and the ability to put it on every squad is lol. Even if you would have went max plasma/fusion, you wouldn't have been able to kill all of those marines before they got to assault range.

    My idea for Kroot in this matchup would have been to outflank and try and bait the ass marines off of their objective. If the marines are going to park on the objective, move up some kroot into rapid fire range and start blasting. You won't kill many but maybe you will get them to charge you. Then have the other unit even farther away from his objective shooting single shots at the same unit that may or may not have charged your first unit. I'm just theory crafting though.

    I think a combination of fire knives, pathfinders (to reduce leadership)+ sniper drone team pinning + alpha strike might be something to try out.

    What Tau SHOULD have though is marker lights with the capability to target individual characters within enemy squads :) Cross your fingers for 5th edition!

  12. First sentence in Death or Glory! section on page 69 in the "little" rulebook:

    "If a unit that has been attacked by tank shock passes its Morale test, one of its models in the vehicle’s path can stand and attempt to destroy it rather than move out of the way (this is potentially a rather suicidal thing to do!)."

    I guess it's the "in the vehicle's path" that's the "thing". Since GW rules are quite interpretable it's hard to know either way without a FAQ (can you hear the silence?).

    What do you guys feel would be a good an honest interpretation on that rule?

  13. @All

    It is really nice to get a lot of support trying to figure out what to do.

    Honestly I had a lot of fun playing the game, but looking at the batle report it was nomnomnomnomnom.

    @OSH: How have ionheads worked out for ya? 35 points cheaper is pretty nice. I am thinking about switching it up and taking one of those.

    My heavy support would then be 2 BS, 2 Sniper drone teams and an IONhead.

    If I take enough combined arms squads (configurations in a previous comment) Do I need the standard 1 rail gun per 500 points? Or is it worth it to take more shots of ap3?

    Markerlights to snipe out those FnP givers

    Dude, your sniper wraithlord looks awesome, and he did something that one time...


  14. Ouchy. That's a tough battle. Obviously, your best weapon for that kind of thing is AP1, AP2, and Str8+. Anything that avoids FnP rips them up pretty bad. The question is how much of your army do you want to dedicate to handling these types of enemies without making yourself vulnerable to the rest of the armies out there.

    I'm not as knowledgeable about Tau as, well, everyone else here that's posted :( but I would suggest having some of your army geared for this. It then falls on your strategy in the game to keep your useful units safe and shooting while your useless units are in the way and holding/contesting objectives.

    Seeker missles are beautiful for this, and I think one squad with some plasma would have made a big difference. If you can break through one direction, your mobility helps keep your important units safe. Like you said, you wanted to sweep your army around, but that one squad made it tough. That's the target for the plasma.

    All speculation here, but I certainly don't think you have to build an army specifically to fight these BA. Tweeking yours a little should do the trick.

    As for the Tank Shock rule, it looks pretty clear that only a guy in the path of the tank can Death or Glory. How else could it be written if that is the case? If it wasn't, it would just say: one of its models can stand and attempt... There would be no need for the "in the vehicle's path" part.

    Anyway, good fight and good discussion.

  15. I didn't build an army list specifically for Tau. As Krox and I talked about, I wanted to try something off the beaten path (since everyone else is going razorback squads). I'll probably never buy that many assault troop models so I just wanted to try it out.
    Yea, somehow I read it as a unit in the vehicles path, not models in the unit in the vehicles path. Sorry guys, was up most the night taking care of the sick wife and sick 4 month old.
    To use my best NFL referee's voice...After reviewing the replay, the call on the field stands. Dante was in the path as indicated by the tank commanders hand (silver model in the middle). The penalty of unintentional misreading is declined. Hehe

  16. @Pavonis

    I would MUCH rather lose a game of 40k then take care of infants who are sick, it is a lot less stressful.

    And on the last Tank shock of the game Dante was indeed in the path, I just wanted clarification for future games. Although, it would have been funny if Dante got lawn-mowered to death by the rampaging devilfish


  17. Oh yea, I would have laughed my butt off if that happened and recommended a promotion for that Devilfish commander too. hehe. Some day, once I have my army painted, I am going to start painting medals on their armor when they do heroic acts like that.

  18. @Pavonis

    That is what I am gonna do with my hammerhead. Everytime I get a "Tank Explodes" result I am gonna paint a thin red notch mark on the barrel of the gun.

  19. ROFL. I'll run my vehicle heave BA list next time to help ya out. ;)

  20. I think the rule is a bit douchy as you can exploit it quite a bit and it just makes positioning your squads extra hard.

    Sounds like you guys have the right attitude though: Have fun and be nice. Yeah, and kick ass ofcourse:)

  21. The Ionhead is an ok, choice. The railgun is always better but you really pay for it. With my most recent list, I was trying to pack in as AP1,AP2, 3 shots as possible and the ionhead made sense as it was cheap and gave my 3 ap3 shots instead of 1 ap1 or blast at ap4. FNP is just too powerful that you have to get around it somehow. The ionhead still has really long range and if you can keep it far enough away is good at contributing to firefights. Mostly It will pick off those last two marines...I had some luck with it lately. THe railhead is good but lately I've been finding it a little overpriced IMO. I had a nice but short run with the skyray and decided I didn't like it.

  22. @OSH

    I really like the Skyray model. I tried to make it work, I like having networked markerlights that are BS 4 and can move 12" a turn. However I don't think I am smart enough to field it right now.

    I have changed my list quite a bit due to recent games, will be posting tonight an army thoughts summary as well as army painting progress, which reminds me I should prolly go and paint some more!