Tau VS James Deathwing Army

April 24, 2009 ·

April 25, 2009

I went down to the Essex Warhounds club for some 40K, but ended up playing James with his Deathwing army. After a Ravenwing binge James is getting back into the Deathwing and took the same army that I borrowed for the 2008 Grand Tournament.

So having played the Deathwing a fair bit myself, I knew what I was in for.

Adam's 1500 points Tau army

Tau Shas’el
Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Multitracker, Hardwired Drone Controller with 2 shield drones
2 Bodyguards with Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Hardwired Multitracker, Targeting Array

Tau Battlesuit Team
2 with Twin Linked Flamer, Missile Pod
1 Leader with Twin Linked Flamer, Missile pod, Hardwired Drone Controller with 2 shield drones

(X3) 6 man Fire warrior Team
Devilfish with Smart Missile System, Targeting Array, Multitracker, Disruption Pod

Hammerhead with Railgun, Smart Missile System, Target Lock, Multitracker, Disruption Pod

Skyray with Smart Missile System, Target Lock, Targeting Array, Multitracker and Disruption Pod

2 man Broadside Team with advanced stabilization
Leader, Hardwired Drone Controller with 2 shield drones, Bonding Knife

40K Battle Report 1:

Game: Annihilation
Deployment: Dawn of War
Opponent: James Le Grys, Deathwing

Belial +5 terminators, assault cannon, chain fist

Librarian +5 terminators, assault cannon, chain fist

5 terminators, assault cannon, chain fist

5 terminators, cyclone

5 terminators, cyclone

We rolled for set up and I rolled highest.
"You can go first!" I said, grinning. I know that Deathwing need to go second in order to maximise on the Deathwing Assault rules and obtain the first turn of fire. But if he Deep Strikes on turn 1 with nothing to shoot at, my army will come on and get the first turn of fire. If he brings everything on from the edge, he'll be out of the range while having to footslog across the board to get to me as I shoot him at range.

James chooses his table edge and deep strikes Belial with squad, Librarian with squad and another assault cannon squad on to the table, spread roughly around the centre. The assault cannon squad scatters off target, into the left flank of my deployment zone. All the terminator squads then run into cover.

I see that he has spread his forces out, so I brought the entire Tau army on from my left flank, obliterating the assault cannon squad that scattered with 2 markerlights, boosting the Ballistic Skill of the nearby Tau Shas'el battle suit team so they hit on 2+ while reducing the Deathwing squad's cover save from 4+ to 5+.

4 of the Deathwing squad were wiped out as all 6 plasma shots and 6 missile pods hit home and wounded. It took 56 smart missile shots to bring down the last terminator. But considering the way James rolls 2+ armour saves, I expected this.

The Librarian and squad were out of range to harm anything. Belial's squad shot at a Devilfish with their assault cannon, but did nothing.

One of the Deathwing squads in reserve landed on the left flank, firing a krak missile at the nearby Skyray, which was deflected by the disruption pod.

The Tau army rolled forward, gunning down the entire Deathwing squad which had just landed.

It was at this point James called the game. Poor chap had such a look of despair about him. But there was little he could do considering the situation the deployment and mission had put him in.

Because the guys on the other table were taking so long (we had planned to swap opponents), we played another game.

40K Battle Report 2:

Game: Secure & Control
Deployment: Spearhead
Opponent: James Le Grys, Deathwing

Things went a little differently this time around. James won the roll to set up and promptly made me go first. Having just murdered him, I thought I'd take things a little more easily.

I had considered setting up a few units, then putting everything else in reserve...but just bunged everything in my quarter instead and took my first turn to spread my army out along the centre of my deployment zone...around an awkward peice of terrain which ended up blocking line of sight for most of the game.

James Deathwing Assault/Deep Striked his Belial squad, Librarian squad and other assault cannon squad onto my right flank in the centre, destroying a Devilfish with concentrated assault cannon fire.

The rest of the battle went quite badly for me as I couldn't bring my mass of firepower to bear thanks to this bloody great building in the centre of my deployment zone. Half my army found itself cut off and with my Tau Shas'el battlesuit team with their plasma rifles denied any shots, I just couldn't take down the terminators with a mass of basic weapons fire. Once again James' ungodly ability to pass 2+ saves shone through, failing only 1 in 12 saves opposed to the balanced statistics of 1 in 6, but I have come to expect that now.

Due to being unable to combine my firepower, James had me on the run, herding me off the objectives. The game ended on Turn 5 with James claiming 2 objectives while I contested 1. However, I was certain I could rescue the game from the jaws of defeat if I had another turn.

So while it wouldn't count of course, I asked for a Turn 6.
All the remaining Tau tanks, including Devilfishes, Hammerhead and Skyray moved 12" on to all the objectives.
In the following phase they were all charged by Deathwing terminators who were now hiting them on 6+, causing some damage here and there, but not being able to destroy more than one tank in a single location.

All the points were now contested, so we racked up the victory points. I scored 620, he scored 560. Not bad, but I need to work on my Turn 5 game strategy.

Thoughts on the Tau army after these games
Game 1 was a no brainer. roll on second, shoot first, concentrate forces, react to his deployment.

Game 2 was the real challenge. I was setting up blind because he could attack me from anywhere. Thinking back to previous games, I thought it best to spread my units out to allow for maximum mobility. But the problem is that against Deathwing you need to maximise your firepower against one squad at a time and that 1 peice of terrain ruined my line of sight.

If anything, this Tau army works best in the middle of open ground where it can be free to move, shoot and see. That means terrain, especially line of sight blocking terrain is a real hazard.

In hindsight I think I should have put down a couple of units to bait James in while keeping the rest of the army in reserve. The bait units would probably be the Hammerhead and Broadsides, which can take a considerable beating and hold their own. Then my reserves can come on from the board edge and counter his units already on the board. I will try this next time!

How did my Tau army perform?
The Tau Battlesuit command team where my star players once again. Combined with a markerlight, they seemed to hit and wound with every shot they made. Devastating! I'm thinking of investing in another of these squads.

The Tau Battlesuits with twin flamer and missile pod were alright, but just as ineffective as the ones with burst cannon and missile pod. I'm tempted to make some with twin missile pod and single flamer in the future. However, they were far more survivable than the Stealth Suits.

Devilfish with Firewarriors performed brilliantly being tough to shift as always.
Broadsides were brilliant.
Skyray was brilliant.
Hammerhead was...okay.

This sunday I'm off to Warhammer World for the Ammo Bunker Open Bash. I have two games lined up. One is a 2000 points battle against Space Marines and I may take my three Piranhas for a spin and the other I can't actually remember.

More 40K Battle Reports next week!


Cawshis Clay said...
April 25, 2009 at 10:40 AM  

Nifty reports! It's interesting to me how that TLF Crisis Suit team seems to be struggling to find a role.

Maybe it's jsut a factor of the game it's fielded in? It'll shine against most, but DW isn't one of those armies?

Adam Hunter said...
April 25, 2009 at 2:06 PM  

Yes, by comparison the plasma/missile pod team is a no brainer, but to be truly worth their points and exceptionally devastating I need another command team all hitting on 3+ (which is often boosted to hitting on 2+ with a markerlight to near enough guarantee 6 hits and 6 wounds every time)

For equal points I can only get 2 plasma/missile battlesuits. But I htink I may test these out as well.

In the meantime, the twin flamer suits will be invaluable against non-marines.

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