Last Thursday I attended the annual Christmas tournament held by the Cardiff Wargames Club at the excellent Firestorm Games. The format was 3 games using the open play card deck to determine missions. Power level was set at 120, with a minimum of two detachments. No LoW allowed, but forgeworld was ok. I decided to take my T’au, the list for which was covered in a previous post.
There were originally 18 participants, but a few last minute no-shows meant it dropped to 16 in the end. There were some great looking armies taking part but the set up was a bit haphazard and so I didn’t manage to photograph all of them.
my chaps exuding class in the fruit box, as i forgot to bring a tray
Game 1 vs Blood Angels
My original draw for Game 1 was against an Eldar player, but he was one of the no-shows and i was eventually set up against Shane and his Blood Angels. Unfortunately this meant a very late start for us and there was no way we would get in a full game. The mission was Burn and Pillage, where you set up three objectives in your own deployment zones, and if you control an enemy objective at the end of your turn you burn it for a VP. The twist was Acid Rain, meaning -1 to hit and -1 from advance/charge roles. My first major mistake here was not reading the mission – I assumed it was some variation of 7th edition The Scouring and blindly ploughed on.
Deployment was vanguards strike, so I castled up in right hand the corner with two objectives, while exposing an objective out on the left flank in front of my markerlights to lure my opponent in. All Suits in reserve ready to complete the Kauyon.
Shane did a better job of securing his objectives, swamping them with troops
I failed to seize and Shane’s forces poured forward. A big blob of 15 Death Company came in and smashed my left flank, making mess of the kroot and fire warriors protecting the ‘lure’ objective.
He captured and burned the objective to move ahead on 1 VP. It was at this point that I decided to go read the mission properly and realized I had probably already lost
There was a slight chance I might be able to nick an objective from Shane and maybe draw the game, but time was already running out and I had to take care of the Death Company before they made a mess of my lines. Right on cue the plasma crisis team came in, and with 5 markerligths hosed the Death Company down into smoking pools of viscera. Lovely job!
Elsewhere the Mark O’s light up the Stormraven with 5 lights, and between their missiles, the piranhas seekers, the riptide and the barracuda they also manage to take it down.
The other half of the crisis teams came in on the right flank, melting a Primaris squad with their fusion blasters and hoping to draw one of the troops guarding the objective away.
Shane’s turn, and the Aggressors went off to deal with the fusion suits, while Lemartes dropped in on the Mark O’s and tried to sneak another objective
It didn’t go to plan though, and as time had run out there was only one possible way I could grab a draw, and that was if my piranhas could get close enough to the objective before I shot the Primaris off it. They both made a brave effort, but they fell just short by one inch! It made little difference then and so we call the game there – a loss for me, but a great (if short) game to start the day off with.
The catalogue of errors continued though – it is only now when I do this write up that i realize the game should have been a draw. The mission clearly states that the first to burn all three objectives wins, not who has burnt the most at game end! Oh the calamity of it all…
Game 2 vs Blood Angels
Game two saw me drawn once again against Blood Angels, this time belonging to Chris. His list was a bit different from Shane’s though, trading the Death Company blob and Hellblasters for an extra Stormraven and some dreadnaughts/tactical squads to ride in them, as well as a Las Predator. Mission was Take and Hold – one objective in the centre, one in each DZ. If you held one for a turn, get 1VP. If you held it in the previous turn, get 3 VP. Twists were Orbital Debris (random mortal wounds) and Battle Frenzy (+1 attack to all models) but we pretty much forgot them for most of the game.
Deployment was table quarters, so I once more castled up in my quarter with the Mark’O’s sitting atop the objective in the tower. Kroot deployed up on the line ready to move forward and grab the central objective, while stealth suits infiltrated the right flank. Crisis suits in reserve once more waiting for the Kauyon.
Chris deployed with Primaris and Las Predator guarding his objective, with the Stromravens fully loaded to pile forward. Only his warlord was in reserve.
This game was played at quite a pace, so the photos are rather limited I’m afraid. It was a brutal affair though, with both of us making a good effort to dislodge the other from his objectives (i resisted the temptation to just sit back!).
This was a tale of two flanks. On the left and centre, my guys surged forward and swamped the two objectives with plenty of bodies.
The Stormravens shot forward, but one was taken down short of his objective and left its passengers at the mercy of a tau crossfire in the centre.
The second Stormraven did survive though and disgorged its contents behind the Tau position, who then proceeded to make a mess of the tau over three turns and eventually dislodge them from the objectives.
On the right flank, the crisis teams used the stealth team’s beacon to drop the fusion suits in right on top of the predator, while the plasma teams came in to deal with the primaris.
However, without markerlight support their performance was dismal – the predator survived and the primaris managed to stubbornly hang on to the objective. Both warlords would also meet their end on this flank.
Despite heavy losses and losing control of all objectives by the final turn, the Tau had racked up enough VPs for holding them on consecutive turns to have an insurmountable lead, giving me the victory. Another great game, plenty of punch-counter-punch action and a real blood bath to boot.
Game 3 vs Imperium of Man
Game three saw me drawn against Jonathan and his Imperial force consisting of Black Templars, Death Korps of Kreig and Adeptus Custodes The mission was The Prize (basically the Relic) and the twists were Eager for the Fight (+2 to moves, +1 to charge/advance) and Grudge Match (everyone fearless). This promised to be a real battle royale in the centre!
Jonathan deployed almost everything along the centre, while the leman russ covered my right flank. Terminators and warlord in reserve.
I also deployed heavily in the centre, with Mark’Os and Piranhas hidden behind terrain. Riptide and stealth teams gave me flank options, with the crisis suits all in reserve as usual.
The Kroot got to move up a massive 9″ straight away thanks to being stealthy hunters and Eager for the Fight. This would get them right into the guardsmen early on and make them very difficult to remove thanks to grudge match too.
Both sides clashed heavily in the centre, with the kroot taking bad losses but staying in the fight and keeping the guardsmen pinned back. The piranha managed to grab the Prize (not restricted to infantry like the relic) but was brought low by the vindicator before it could move off next turn.
The fusion commander dropped into help out against the contemptor on the left flank
While the fusion suits came in on the right to deal with the leman russ. They once more whiffed though, so it fell to the stealth team to charge the tank and keep it from firing next turn
The custodes left the kroot to the guardsmen and came forward to slaughter the fire warrior squad
The Contemptor also tried to take on the fusion commander, but he was well protected by the drones
The Primaris Captain also deep struck in and charged the Riptide, taking four wounds off it in combat
Terminators also came in to try and help the beleaguered leman russ. The tank fell back while the termies charged the stealth suits, cutting them to ribbons
Tau turn, and the surviving kroot fell back out of combat to pick up the Prize
Plasma crisis came in, and between them and the Mark O managed to dispose of the exposed custodes
Riptide fell back from the captains onslaught and put a wound on him
The fusion crisis pursued the leman russ and finally got the vehicle kill that had eluded them so far today
While the warlord came in to assist the barracuda and fusion commander in taking down the contemptor
The guard responded by surging forward and mopping up the kroot, claiming the prize for themselves in the process
While the captain charged the loses Mark’O, who only survived by the noble sacrifice of yet more drones
having survived his encounter with the captain, the mark fell back and the exposed enemy warlord was brought down by a wither hail of fire
The plasma suits, piranha and riptide also pushed up into the centre to shoot the guard off the prize.
The only way Tau could win the game now was if the riptide could win combat against two guardsmen and consolidate onto the Prize to pick it up
However, it was not meant to be, as the brave guardsman stood his ground against the xeno menace, making his commissar proud! A brutal show of firepower for the poor imperials, but they made a brave fist of it and almost snuck it on the final turn – another great game and a draw was probably the fairest result in the end.
So there we have it, my first real taste of 8th edition and I have to say I really enjoyed it. I found it was a lot quicker to play that 7th, with a lot less fussing and almost no consulting of the rulebook. I especially like the changes to the combat phase (always my least favourite as a Tau player!) as the process now flows a lot better. I also find Tau benefit from not being ‘swept’ all the time, another unseen boon to the tiny fisted blue dudes.
All in all a great day, and it definitely restored my faith in tournaments. It may have been more down to the people and personalities involved, or the fact that it was a very casual tournament for the club regulars, but for me there was nothing negative in the day at all – no poor losers (or winners for that matter), no rule lawyers and certainly no WAACineering to leave a sour taste in the mouth afterwards. Al three of my opponents were great sports and very accommodating to the fact that I was a bit of an 8th noob, and I will definitely be looking to attend the club on a more regular basis if i can.
I may well do another post to discuss my list and other reflections on 8th from a Tau perspective, hopefully ill get around to it sometime in the new year.