Last Friday Womble and I snuck in an after work game so that his Tau forces could clear the resident Orks from a barren frontier world on his fringes.
The Ork Warboss gathered 2 large units of boyz, a pair of loota mobz and a small squadron of deffkopterz while the Tau landed with a Commander and bodyguards, a trio of Missilesides, Riptide, trio of Crisis suits, Kroot and a Piranha squadron.
The game was for 1 objective each so had the potential to be interesting.
The Tau were initially intimidated by the large number of Orks in opposition and an initial barrage of fire from the fast deffkopterz saw a crisis team take casualties then flee from the battle zone, scoring the Orks a cheeky first blood.
The Tau retaliated, Smart Missile systems really shone as the Tau forces unleashed a furious barrage of fire into the Ork hordes over the next few game turns. Ignoring cover and LoS the Orks could do little to close the distance and the Tau position meant the greenskins could do little to get out of range. The Orks heal out as long as they could causing minor damage to the braver Tau units which closed the distance but in the end the sands were coated in green blood and the Tau had another world.
On Tuesday Cody and I decided to have a campaign game. We as a group have decided that each player may issue a challenge once per round. These challenge games if won can gain the victor a permanent 50 point addition to their army total. Womble has also worked out a system for buying back units from a total army economy, where worlds controlled give resources to replace destroyed units. In a challenge game the challenger has to be able to replace lost units as normal where the defending player ignores any losses - this will mitigate any ganging up over subsequent rounds on a single player. When we actually come to fighting over controlled worlds all losses on both sides will need to be managed.
Cody and I decided to roll for challenger as we had not formally declared any. My Eldar forces ended up as aggressor and Womble set up the table as a ruin strewn jungle.
Chapter Master, bike, artificer armour, shield eternal, thunder hammer
2x 5 man tac squads with plasma in las/plas razorbacks
Stormtalon, assault cannons and skyhammers
Centurion Devastators with grav cannons
Autarch, Mantle of the Laughing God, Jetbike, Shard, Fusion gun, banshee mask
5 Dire Avengers in Wave Serpent, scatter, cannon, holo
5 Warp Spiders
Hornet with Pulse lasers
2 War Walkers with bright lances
We rolled a 4 objective game with diagonal deployment and night fighting first turn.
Cody was going first and deployed his force centrally and aggressively to make use of the limited range, he put his thunderfire in a reinforced ruin on his right flank. I set back as far as I could to maximize the night fighting rules. The Hornet and Warwalkers were outflanking and the jetbikes reserved.
The marines had range to the wraithknight with the razback lascannons but little else. The Centurions struggled through the central jungle choked ruins - something that would occur throughout the game. I think Cody may have removed 1 wound from the WK while his Chapter master sped towards him.
In my opening turn I moved into range of a razback with my serpent while the warp spiders and wraithknight swung out to my left. The autarch stayed back in cover waiting for the marines to close. The wave serpent smashed open the razback with the cover ignoring serpent shield and first blood was mine. Other shooting saw the Chapter Master lose a wound.
As the sun filtered through the jungle canopy the Chapter Master went straight for the Wraithknight. Seeking to tarpit it with his EW shield. The Centurions struggle again through the ruins and the Eldar had kept out of range of other forces. The Stormtalon flew onto the board and unleashed its weapons at the Wave Serpent causing it to explode. Only one of the passengers perished and they took cover in their transports wreckage. The Thunderfire pummeled the Warp Spiders but only one had succumbed to the bombardment. The Chapter Master charged the Wraithknight and lost a wound to the Wraithcannon fire! The following combat saw both sides lose a wound and the melee continued.
The Eldar Hornet and Walkers both entered from the marine's right flank using the reinforced tower ruin where the techmarine and TFcannon were perched as LoS blocking terrain. They took long ranged shots at the other razback and centurions managing to wreck the tank and wound the heavily armoured marines. The spiders jump generators brought them within range of a disembarked marine squad and alongside the Autarch whittled down their numbers with monofilament shots. The struggle between the Wraithknight and Marine hero continued with both sides failing to cause a wound.
The Stormtalon through a hard turn and went straight for the outflanking Eldar forces managing to destroy a walker. The TF again fired at the spiders but caused little damage to their heavy aspent armour. The Centurions fired at the only target in range, the Mantled cloaked Autarch. With Grav cannons firing they scored 11 wounds but the fey luck of the Eldar Warlord saw him unscathed. More blows were traded in assault but the Marine Lord failed to bring his shield to bare in time and was crushed by the Wraithknight's strength.
The Hornet fired at the Stormtalon failing to strike it, the jetbikes entered the fray and took position behind a massive ancient tree. The remaining warwalker clambered into the ruined tower closing on the techmarine and artillery, assaulting after firing its lances with little effect. The Wraithknight freed from combat reinforced the flank while the spiders and Autarch finished off another tactical squad.
The Stormtalon scored a hit on the Hornet, stunning it while the Centurions fired with little damage caused at the Eldar Warlord. The Warwalker beat down the Techmarine and took firing position in the tower.
The game ended with combined fire dropping the Centurions to a single wounded man before the Autarch flew into combat finishing it off. The surviving pair of Dire Avengers took control of a rear objective while the jetbikes had already sped across the table to take another. The Stormtalon took a hit and left the combat zone as sole survivor to report back to Marine command on the xenos forces.
This was unfortunately one of those games where Cody did very little if anything tactically wrong, but as I'm sure we can all sympathise with, had the dice abandon him. I measured all the ranges of his weapons and did my best to keep out of them, Eldar mobility played a huge part in this game with my forces able to dance around his picking off the long ranged targets with little retribution. It was fun to play with the Autarch and as that game sees him tick up some experience I shall field him again, I will have to build an actual model up for him. I'm thinking of mounting him on a Hellion skyboard Green Goblin style. That victory nets me 50 points bumping me up to 1050 per game and having more than enough resources to replace the lost wave serpent.
Stu and Womble have yet to play their Necron vs Tau game but I'm sure it will happen over the next couple days.