Preparing for Apocalypse

June 25, 2009 ·

Tonight I've sat down and worked out my Tau Apocalypse army. Never played Apocalypse before and so it's taken quite a bit of planning. If you are going to play Apocalypse, I must strongly recommend that you sit down with a pencil, paper and ruler and work out how your armies are going to play.

If James and I hadn't spent an evening doing this last month, we would have been really disappointed on the day. This is because my Tau army had no chance of winning. And by that, I mean there would be nothing I could do to stop James from murdering me in Apocalypse due to the Apocalypse deployment zones.

The problem lies in the Dark Angels Ravenwing, because in Apocalypse, they can react to however an opponent deploys. To make matters worse, Apocalypse deployment forces you to deploy in a corner. This creates 2 senarios which make the Ravenwing truly devastating.

1) Tau win the roll, deploy first and go first.
Ravenwing all outflank. This then forces the Tau army to go up against their table edge (which is the side of the table) in a vain attempt to stop units from coming on. As a result, the Tau army cannot move for the whole game without suffering horrific losses from Outflanking units with melta guns or multimeltas blowing up tanks and cutting down their battlesuits en masse in close combat.

2) Dark Angels win the rolls, deploy first and go first.
The Ravenwing set up on the edge of the 24" No Man's Land and use their Scout move to Turbo Boost across it. Due to the triangular deployment zone in the corner, the Tau have nowhere to hide and will be hit with a plethora of melta guns and multimeltas on turn 1 and once again, suffer horrific losses.

Obviously, this would make for a really boring game. Especially as James is looking to field his entire Dark Angels army for fun and I'm interested to see if an army which required careful micromanaging can work on a grand scale.

So, we've adapted the Apocalypse rules to suit us. So we've taken the 6 objective markers from the Apocalypse rules, 1 Strategem each and decided upon the Pitched Battle deployment from the Warhammer 40K rulebook but with bigger deployment zones as we're playing on a 6' x 8' table.

This gives the Tau freedom to move about (which they need!), plenty of space for the Deathwing to deep strike and some nice open roads for the Ravenwing to zoom about on.

It's going to be a battle on a grand scale with some proper moving about, objective grabbing and traditional Warhammer 40K tactics.

Just to clarify, only 2 of us are playing on Saturday. This is because everyone we knew dropped out. I'm quite stunned. You offer people a great game with fully painting miniatures and all they have to do is turn up and play!

Tau Apocalypse Army

had to borrow 3000 points of my 4500 points Tau Apocalypse army, because I don't have enough stuff to face James's entire Dark Angels army. So, I've had to take my usual 1500 points Tau army (minus the twin linked flamer battle suits, because they're not painting), Simon's Tau army and Luke's Tau army.

Simon's Tau army has laid abandoned since 4th edition. Luke's army has received a minor update since 5th edition. However, I have discovered why Luke has been losing so many games lately -his usual list came up around 100 points short!

So while this isn't the best Tau Apocalypse list in the world, it's the best I could come up with considering what I've got to hand.

Tau Battlesuit Command Team:
Tau Shas'O:Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Flamer, Multitracker, Iridium Armour, Stim Injector, Hardwired Drone Controller with 2 shield drones
Tau Shas’el: Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Multitracker
2 Bodyguards with Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Hardwired Multitracker, Targeting Array

Tau Battlesuit Command Team:
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 Command Team:
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 Command Team:
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:
Team Leader: Burst Cannon, Missile Pod, Multitracker, Hardwired Drone Controller with 2 shield drones
2 Battlesuits with Burst Cannon, Missile Pod, Multitracker

6 Stealth Suits
targeting arrays

4 Stealth Suits
targeting arrays

3 Stealth Suits
targeting arrays

3 Stealth Suits
targeting arrays

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

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

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

6 man fire warrior team
team leader with marker light

6 man fire warrior team
team leader with marker light

6 man fire warrior team
team leader with marker light

6 man fire warrior team
team leader with marker light

6 man fire warrior team
team leader with marker light

6 man fire warrior team
team leader with marker light

6 man fire warrior team
team leader with marker light

Hammerhead with Railgun, 2 Burst Cannons, Multitracker, Disruption Pod, black sun filter

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

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

Skyray with 2 Burst Cannons, Target Lock, Targeting Array, Multitracker and Disruption Pod, black sun filter

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

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

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

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


James has effectively split his Dark Angels into 3 detachments: Dark Angels, Deathwing and Ravenwing. I may have to do the same.

Right now I'm thinking of keeping Broadsides up the back, a tank wall up front, which advances with the Tau Battlesuits following from behind. In the middle (following the Battlesuits) will be the mass of Tau Firewarriors with markerlights on foot.

If James attacks from the front, the Battlesuits jump shoot, jump over the tanks.
If he comes from the sides, the markerlight Tau Firewarriors light up any flanking units for the Battlesuits and Broadsides.

If all is going well (which would make a nice change) then everything can spread out to maximise the firing lanes and keep everything firing.

Whatever happens, it's going to be a lot of fun.
Orbital Bombardment is James's Strategem card.
I chose the one that lets all units shoot a single enemy target on 2+ for a single turn. I'll use it as my back up for a unit that absolutely MUST DIE during the heat of the battle.

James has many advantages over me in this game. Let's see if some traditional Tau tactics can overcome his forgiving army.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...
June 25, 2009 at 3:54 PM  

SinSynn here-
I don't think it's legal to turbo boost during a scout move, but apocalypse may be different, I dunno.
BRB page 76-'scouts'
"...before the first player begins his first turn, any scouts may make a NORMAL move."
The Turbo Boost rule states that a unit may turbo boost during the MOVEMENT phase, which I don't believe happens before turn 1. Same page.

Friggin' Space Marine players. Always looking for the cheese, like they don't have enough aspects of the game designed specifically for their benefit.
Like this-
'Aww, why can't I assault after I deep strike? I'm a Space Marine and I should always win!!'
Here ya go- 'Heroic Intervention'
Sigh.

Rabidchild said...
June 25, 2009 at 6:51 PM  

I've never played Apocalypse, so I look forward to your thoughts on it.

Oh and as a Ravenwing player: they can't turbo-boost on the scout move. ;)

Rabidchild said...
June 25, 2009 at 11:43 PM  

Regular space marines can turbo boost on the scout: 40k FAQ Oct. 2008: "Q. Can bikes Turbo Boost during their Scout move?
A. Yes they now can, but remember that they have to remain more than 12” away from the enemy as they move."

DA codex, pg. 27: "Scouts: Note that no model may make a Turbo Boost move while using the Scouts Special Rule."

-shrug- Just one of the many differences between the DA codex and the vanilla one.

Soundwave said...
June 26, 2009 at 12:38 AM  

The best counter for an army that comes in from reserve is "Disruptor Beacon". Every enemy unit coming in reserve or deep strike within 48" of it you roll a dice. On a roll of 4+ you get to choose where it goes!

I believe its reserve or deep strike, or it could just be limited to deep strike. Either way, it'll help you limit his terminators effectiveness!

And I agree a little with SinSynn. Having just put my marine army up on ebay, so much is geared towards them. They're the most boring army I've ever played! 20 games with them and only 1 loss, something has to be amiss there....

Cawshis Clay said...
June 26, 2009 at 5:24 AM  

Just a point of fact: There is no die roll for who goes first in Apocalypse. It's a bid to go first determined by set up.

I think you're got the gist of the dangers of playing DA though...those Ravenwing are sneaky gits!

Damon said...
June 26, 2009 at 7:43 AM  

As others have pointed out, you don't have anything NEW to fear from Ravenwing scouting just because of Apocalypse.

And to hammer home a point given above: you don't roll for 1st turn, you bid time. Thus you have considerable control over who deploys when and where.

Having played close to a dozen Apoc games, I would also say you are overly afraid of the normal rules. You are making assumptions about deployment that aren't necessarily going to play out the way you expect.

For example, Apoc deployment doesn't necessarily play out as on player getting a tiny corner while the other gets a huge swath of board. That is one possible outcome, but others include very nearly dividing the table in half parallel to the short table edges!

And no matter what deployment result you get, you are not obligated to deploy right on the edge of No Man's Land.

Apoc is definitely the 40K game where you get to be the most creative with your army. Enjoy it's wonkiness!

In general, it's irrational to be afraid of something without having experienced it at least once.

Play the standard Apoc game, deployment rules and all, before deciding that your Tau army "can't win".

And on that subject: it's clearly stated in the Apoc rules that Apoc is NOT meant to be played competitively. "Winning" isn't a goal of an Apoc game. You're shooting for an exciting, dynamic battle that will make for an enjoyable retelling for a long time to come. Who cares who wins or loses? This is Apocalypse! Apoc is not a "fair" game, no matter how you slice it. Accept it as such, and then you'll have a grand old time.

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