Last round, the final volley. That final charge up the last hill - battered, beleaguered, yet grizzled and full of a veteran's fury! And hoo boy, this battle was a doozy... I brought what I personally thought was "unfair," and so did my opponent. And we were both right!
Game Size: 1750 points
My opponent: The most hated TAU. And not only that, the new Tau. An army composed of all of the most terrifying MC Formations.
Here are the lists -
Farseer (Jetbike, Stone of Anath'Lan) *Warlord
Warlock (Jetbike, Singing Spear)
Vyper (2x Shuriken Cannons)
3x Jetbikes (Scatter Lasers)
3x Jetbikes (Shuriken Cannons)
3x Jetbikes (Shuriken Cannons)
*All units in this Formation (including Auxiliaries) with Battle Focus may always run 6" when making Battle Focus run moves. And, once per game, all Shuriken Weapons gain Shred until end of turn.
*Auxiliary - Wraithhost*
Wraithknight (Suncannon/Scattershield, 2x Scatter Lasers)
Wraithlord (Ghostglaive, 2x Flamers)
5x Wraithguard (D-Scythes)
5x Wraithguard (Wraithcannons)
5x Wraithguard (Wraithaxes)
Wave Serpent (TL Bright Lance)
Wave Serpent (TL Bright Lance)
*All Wraith units gain Battle Focus. And all Wraith units within 18" of the Spiritseer may re-roll to-hit.
*Optimized Stealth Cadre*
Ghostkeel (with drones)
3x Stealthsuits (burst cannon)
3x Stealthsuits (burst cannon)
*As long as the Ghostkeel is within 6", Stealth Suit units in this Formation automatically hit vehicles on their rear armor, and Ignore Cover (!?!)
5x Fire Warriors
5x Fire Warriors
3x Riptides (unsure of the gear, sorry - but taken as a Formation I can't remember the name of)
As the final round, this was a weird one. Automatic Dawn of War Deployment, Night Fighting, Mysterious Objectives, Slay the Warlord, Linebreaker. But, with these additional Objectives as well:
2x 1 pt Objectives
2x 2 pt Objectives
1x 5pt Relic
Also, every Game Turn, each player rolls a D6 and gets one of these secondary Objectives for the turn (each worth 1pt if scored in that turn):
1-2, Hold an Objective
3-4, Kill an Enemy Unit
5, have 1x Scoring unit in the Enemy Deployment Zone
6, have 3+ Friendly and no enemy units in your home DZ
Instead of First Blood, a player got 1 bonus point for destroying a single unit on the first turn, both players could score this.
Last, but not least, there were two other points. One for controlling the most Table Quarters at the end of the game, and one for controlling 2 or more Objectives.
Oh, and four of the randomly-placed terrain pieces must be AV13 "Medium Buildings"
Got it? No? Yeah, we had to go back and read it a lot. Kept things interesting though!
Above is my Deployment, deep to one side with the intention of swinging across the board hard and fast. I won the roll to Deploy first, so I kept things somewhat central so I wasn't easy to counter-deploy against, but I also wanted deep cover (as much as it matters going up against Tau...
Below is more of a birds-eye, before the Tau finished setup
Oh! On the Traits/Powers note, the Ethereal got Move Through Cover (Strategic traits), and my Farseer got FNP (Personal traits)
Farseer: Guide, Fortune, Mind War, Eldritch Storm
Spiritseer: Psychic Shriek, Mental Fortitude (bleck!), Hallucination
Warlock: Conceal/Reveal, Protect/Jinx (score!)
Overhead deployment, those are my Wraithaxes on the far left, my Vyper is just out of frame on the right. The Bronze Wave Serpent has the D-Scythes, and the plain one has the Wraithcannons and Spiritseer. Scatterbikes are in the far corner, while the Shuriken bikes are center and center right. The two boxy things on the lower right, the orange-roofed building and the white-cross bunker are all the AV13 buildings.
The Relic is at the front door of that white-cross building, while the two 2-pt Objectives are behind that orange roof and in the lower-left, while the 1-pts are under the green canopy and behind the rocks in the upper left.
Now, during setup, my friendly opponent had been informing me of all of his special rules. I was a little distracted and didn't catch all it, but when the game started I had a distinct sense of "Oh shit."
I've fought Tau before, I know the kind of obscene fire they can put out, and just how much damage they can inflict on my army if left unchecked, so I was really relieved to be going first, because this list was a whole different kind of animal.
I'd already planned my attack: Serpents up ASAP, bikes behind trying to take out those Stealth Suits and Pathfinders, while the Wraithknight (hopefully with Fortune up for re-rolled saves) and Wraithlord would run forward at top speed, guns blazing. Wraithblades would creep up the side, hoping to cut off anyone trying to skirt around that side of the board.
...That was the plan. Then the Tau seized the Initiative (!!)
All of a sudden, rather than my beautiful army, I took a massive beating, and here is what my side of the table looked like on my Turn 1:
Tau Firepower did horrific amounts of damage, the Wraithblades were obliterated, along with the nearest bike unit. The Wraithguard Serpent was Immobilized and dropped to 1 HP, while the D-Scythe Serpent was destroyed outright, and the D-scythes themselves were wiped out as well. The Vyper took the edge of a stiff breeze and was also blown up, as icing on the cake.
(There's a unit of Fire Warriors and their Ethereal behind the cross building as well, and the Pathfinders on the roof are markers that they're in that building)
I knew I had to hit back, and hit back hard, so my Wraithknight and Wraithlord ran up at top speed. I cast Fortune on the Wraithknight and moved my remaining two bike units into aggressive positions.
Just for good measure, I used a remaining Warp Charge to cast Protect with my Warlock - who promptly Periled and died. Par for the course for my lone Warlocks :P
I held back my surviving Wraithguard for the moment, I knew they were dangerous, but also very vulnerable to the hail of fire they were getting. I banked on my Knight and Lord clogging the cannons a bit before I put my Wraithguard back into the fight.
The highlight of this turn was the Knight multi-assaulting the two Stealth Suit units, and wiping one out, while the other ran away. I left my Knight on the rooftop to look scary and distracting!
The plan worked beautifully, in his Turn 2, he shot everything at the Knight. With Fortune up, he went into full beast mode and took one, maybe two Wounds. Still more than ready to make a mess.
It was still a gamble of course, because if his Thrust moves went well, he could get out of range for another turn and I'd be in trouble...
But, in the end, I was lucky - one of the Riptides pulled away, but the other two rolled a helpful combination of 1's and 3's, allowing my Knight to easily multi-assault the two stragglers.
Rar! Wraithknight in combat!
...Forever. This combat was more or less a draw for four turns. The Riptides kept Nova Charging for the 3++, and tanked all the wounds. In turn, they were barely able to hit, let alone hurt, the Knight. I had terrible lucks with Stomps during all this. I kept the rest of my units in cover as best I could, and out of the way, keeping the Farseer close enough to keep casting Fortune.
Before getting in combat here, I managed a clean Suncannon volley at the Ethereal and his unit, wiping them out for the two VPs.
At this point it's a bit of a cease-fire between the Stormsurge and the Wraithguard, neither with much of a clean shot. Not that that stopped the Tau from picking off two of my precious Wraithcannons. This was more or less the state of affairs for a while, my Scatterbikes picking off his rear unit of Pathfinders, his Stormsurge taking out the Scatterbikes, etc.
But, time came down to it. The Ghostkeel got nervous, and made a run for the Relic, hoping to sneak it off while my Knight was still occupied, while the Stormsurge jumped up trying to distract me, and flush out my Wraithguard.
Very few models left here, and all of a sudden that white Riptide started failing its Nova Charge, turning that 3++ to a 5++.
Turn 5! Potentially last turn!
At the end of Tau Turn 4, my Knight won combat by 2 points, and the Riptides ran like crazy, only to be easily run down. And then my Knight, with only 3 HP left, took every gun in the Tau army to the face, and took no wounds. Boom.
This is right before the Ghostkeel started carrying the Relic away, while the Stormsurge tried to pull back to cover its escape.
I was in the perfect position I'd been waiting for, the Wraithguard moved up and took their shot, stripping three Wounds from the Stormsurge (less than stellar wound-rolling, and one hot Invil. save on that Stormsurge).
The picture above was the end of my movement phase, after that, I nailed the Stormsurge with Psychic Shriek, stripping off four wounds (!) and then, the Wraithknight's cannons stripped off all but one, which the Wraithknight promptly knocked off on the charge. Take that, Stormsurge!
The Tau rolled for it, and on we went to Turn 6
Mmmm, Turn 6!
Turn 6 looked bad for the Tau. He to the opportunity to pick off my last Wraithguard and Spiritseer, while moving the Ghostkeel with the Relic back. He also disembarked the unit of Pathfinders that had been in that white building all game and wrapped them around the Ghostkeel, in an effort to slow my Knight down.
At this point, my entire army is the Knight and my Farseer, to his Ghostkeel, last Riptide, unit of Fire Warriors and unit of Pathfinders.
With the Relic, the Tau were up with 13 to my 8. But it was my turn, and I got right up in his face. All I had to do was clear the Pathfinders (pff!) and fire at least one gun at the Ghostkeel to make sure I could charge it. Then all I had to do was make a 3" Charge, and then either contest the Relic for an 8 to 8 tie, or kick the crap out of that slippery bugger and take the Relic for a 13 to 8 Eldar win.
Or, barring that, go on to Turn 7.
...Or, you know, I could do that. Rolled snake-eyes on the charge, and then a 2 was rolled to continue the game. Victory to the Tau.
Welp, sometimes the dice just get you ;) I had some atrocious rolling throughout this game. Aside from that final roll, I had four 3+ saves to make, and rolled two 1's, a 2, and but a single 4. Ug.
But, I played a heinously mean list against an incredibly gnarly shooting list, and it came down to a complete bloodbath on both sides. Being able to recover at all made me so, so proud. So did taking out so much of the Tau army, especially the Stormsurge. And Riptides. I love mashing Riptides!
I'm glad the game went the way it did. I didn't embarrass myself despite still being a rookie and taking as *massive* ass-kicking T1. But at the same time, the Tau player had a better idea what he was doing, played more carefully to the Objectives, and ultimately deserved to win. Had I stolen the win, I would have been proud, but probably would not have felt as if I really earned it.
All in all, great game! Looking forward to the next one :)