40K Weekend at Warhammer World

September 12, 2009 ·

September 12, 2009

This weekend I have been mostly playing Warhammer 40K! Friday morning we all bundled into the car and drove up to Warhammer World, stopping off for a McDonald's breakfast along the way and a cup of coffee.

Friday was a relatively relaxed affair with just the three of us playing. Although we did bump into a few people who said they'd happily come for a game on Saturday.

First up, James wanted to test his semi-static Space Marine list against Marc's new Ork army (hastily glued together the night before).

Considering that both James and Marc made a few mistakes in their game, the Space Marines enjoyed a convincing win, drowning Ghazghul and chums in a torrent of plasma, melta and sniper rifle fire. Meanwhile mobs of Ork boyz were beaten down in close combat as the wave of Orks smashed apart on the rocks of James's army.

We broke for lunch at Bugman's bar before it was my turn to face the Orks with the might of the Tau Empire.

40K Battle Reports

Game: Capture & Control
Deployment: Dawn of War
Players: Marc, Orks, VS Adam, Tau Empire

Ghazghul Thrakka, 5 mega armoured nobz
Battlewagon with rokkit, grot riggers, death roller and red paint job

Big Mek with kustom force field
12 Orks: including Nob with powerklaw, rokkit
Battlewagon with rokkit, grot riggers, death roller and red paint job

12 Orks: including Nob with powerklaw, rokkit
Battlewagon with rokkit, grot riggers, death roller and red paint job

12 Orks: including Nob with powerklaw, rokkit
Trukk with rokkit, grot riggers, reinforced ram and red paint job

3 Killa Kanz with kustom mega blasters
1 Deff Dread with big shootas

I took my usual 1500 points tau army. The game started in favour of the Tau after baiting Ghazghul into the open in order to smash up the Skyray, which was a mere inch out of charge range! Unfortunately even the entire Tau army firing at Ghaz and chums couldn't wipe out the squad and the Skyray was charged, hit on a 6 and exploded. In the following turn the Battlesuit Command Team wiped out the rest of the squad with their plasma rifles and missile pods. Angered by this the Ork army charged forward as one towards the Tau tank line, which fell back firing.

It was at this point I discovered that I simply didn't have the anti-tank to deal with this army. 3 Battlewagons, 1 trukk, 3 killa kans and 1 dreadnought were too much for 6 missile pods and 3 railguns.

I continued to fall back, but not fast enough as he gained on me every turn. Calling a WAAAGH!, the Big Mek and his squad charged a Devilfish, hitting it on a 6 with a powerklaw (isn't it always the way) and destroying it. In retaliation, the Tau Battlesuit team with twin linked flamers stepped in and annihilated the entire squad. Later they did the same to a second Ork squad after another Devilfish had been torn out of the sky of course.

With almost all the Ork troops wiped out, surely I'd have nothing to worry about? WRONG! The Battlewagons advanced en masse, mowing down any surviving Fire Warriors, Tau Battlesuits and Broadsides with their Death Rollers.

The game ended with the Orks controlling 1 objective. Of the Tau, only the Hammerhead had survived.

With that, we packed up, walked to our hotel (the long way round), watched some TV, then walked back to Nottingham centre for a night at The Pit & Pendulum.

Saturday morning, we arrived back at Warhammer World to find the car park heaving and Bugman's bar overflowing with people. It turns out that a Horus Heresy era campaign weekend by the Tempus Fugitives was being run. So there were lots of awesome armies and conversions to see. Luckily Games Workshop only ever lets out half of their gaming hall, so we still had plenty of tables to play on.

A couple of guys I'd contacted previously and Glenn, who we'd bumped into the day before showed up for some games.

While James played a Sisters of Battle player with his Ravenwing and Marc unleashed his Orks against a Blood Angels player I'd been chatting to (whose friends hadn't bothered to show up!), I was set to play Simon Thorne and his Ork Nobz biker army.

I've known Si for a few years now through various tournaments. Our first game had been a tough one between Deathwing terminators and Tyranids. The game was so close, we'd always wanted to play another, but it never came about -until now!

Game: Capture & Control
Deployment: Dawn of War
Players: Si Thorne, Orks, VS Adam, Tau Empire

Warboss with power klaw, cybork body, bike
8 Ork Biker Nobz with varying junk for wound allocation and 6 power klaws + Painboy

Warboss with power klaw, cybork body, bike
8 Ork Biker Nobz with varying junk for wound allocation and 6 power klaws + Painboy

Yes, that's it!

Well, we knew how this game was going to go, so I set up to basically open fire with my entire army on one of his units and hopefully wipe it out.

Turn 1, everything fired on one of the squads, inflicting 6 wounds, but killing nothing.

I couldn't move fast enough to get away, so over the course of the game, he ate a few units each turn, I inflicted some wounds each turn until he had just 8 Ork biker nobz left. I could have got a draw on Turn 5, but overlooked how I could have sacrificed a unit. If the game had gone on another turn, then I certainly would I have lost anyway.

We took a quick break to look at many of the Heresy era armies on display. Most of the armies were basecoated, washed and drybrushed, but looked surprisingly good for it. Then again, I had been inspecting Simon's stunning Ork Biker Nobz army only to find that up close it was a very basic paint job. Looks great on the table top though! Certainly something to think about when it comes to painting my armies quickly.

My next opponent was Glenn More. I played Glenn at Carnage 2009 and we had a really close game. I wanted to play him ever since, so today was my chance. The tactics that had served me well before was to blow up his transports, then shoot the squishy stuff.

Game: Secure Ground
Deployment: Dawn of War
Players: Glenn More, Eldar VS Adam, Tau Empire

Eldar Avatar

Farseer with singing spear, fortune and doom
5 fire dragons + exarch with fire pike
wave serpent with twin linked star cannons, spirit stone

9 dire avengers + exarch with bladestorm
wave serpent with twin linked bright lance, spirit stone

3 jetbikes, shuriken cannon

3 jetbikes, shuriken cannon

1 Vyper jetbike with shuriken cannon and scater laser

1 Fire Prism with holofield and spirit stone

1 Wraithlord with wraithsword, flamers and bright lance

1 Wraithlord with flamers, bright lance and eldar missile launcher

I spent the first turn firing at the Eldar Avatar and managed to immobilise the waveserpent carrying the dire avengers with the Broadsides. After that I just struggled to kill anything. Missile pods and rail guns bounced harmlessly off eldar skimmers, while the plethora of smart missiles in my army had little to shoot at but an Avatar who had 'Fortune' case on him, so he took forever to die.

It was another game of everything surging towards me, my units falling back, but not falling back fast enough (because they're slow!) and dying a slow death while being able to kill very little.

With my weapons ineffective and having no close combat potential, Glenn was free to zoom all his units right in my face, knowing that I could do nothing while his high strength weapons and superior mobility took my units apart.

In the meanwhile, James and Simon had been playing the toughest game of their lives as Ravenwing bikers and landspeeders clashed with Ork biker nobz. I wish I'd taken some photos! The game ended in a very close draw. Simon's nobz had simply sat on the objectives and weathered fire because they couldn't risk chasing after any of the Ravenwing units and abandoning the objective. But as Simon said, if one of his units hadn't broken and fled he would have won -testament to the sheer hardness (if bland nature) of his army list.

After this Simon went home to spend some time with his missus while Glenn joined us in Bugman's for a drink for a drink and a bite to eat. I went for the lasagne again to play it safe while Glenn ordered the chilli con carne. I wish I'd ordered the chilli too, because it was huge! James and Marc came back from their cigarette break and did the same. Somewhat disheartened by my three staggering defeats, I ordered the biggest slice of chocolate fudge cake you've ever seen.

Even though I was obliterated in all 3 games, I had a fantastic time meeting up with people and playing Warhammer 40K.

As for the Tau army, it's evident how much it struggles in 5th edition now that people know what 5th edition Warhammer 40K is all about. In fact, it's getting more like Warmachine where armies revolved around special characters, long ranged shooting does little and getting right in your opponent's face with short range, high strength attacks and hard close combat units will win your games.

Does this sound like the Tau to you? Well, no of course it doesn't.
But to address this change in the game, I've decided to give my army list a reshuffle, throw in more high strength, low AP guns and generally harder hitting stuff. The kroot are back too, so let's see how they do!


Hedzer said...
September 13, 2009 at 6:14 AM  

I'm currently playing a 1700 pt list a bit similar to yours.

The Devilfish eat lots of points but do very little for the points invested. I'm down to two now, which means that I kinda suck at the objective games but I have a more dakka and hence more fun :)

I use 5 suites, 3 monats (AFP and 2x Fireknife commanders) and a pair of deathrains. I also use a Stealth Marker Team that I like a lot, it also helps in firing Seeker Missiles.

Lastly I have 2 Piranha's that kinda suck but look great and are fun to play :)

brent said...
September 13, 2009 at 6:35 AM  

What are you going to take out of your list?
I'm glad you had fun; it's good to see a player who could lose three games and not be bitter about it after. You take some losses and the next time you win it will feel great.
What is your win/loss/tie record now with Tau?

Adam said...
September 13, 2009 at 9:32 AM  

No, I was bitter. lol. Okay, maybe not so bitter, because I know I can buy another army at the drop of a hat.

Stay tuned for new list and batrep in the week.

More losses than wins with Tau. Probably 1/3 win to loss ratio.

Sholto said...
September 13, 2009 at 9:49 AM  

Great reports - sounds like you had a great time.

Tau are faster than the average army, but nowhere near top of the ladder when it comes to speed. Even going fully Mech we cannot outmanoever the enemy and keep firing from range. Since Tau cannot get any faster, the opponents need to get slower, and that leads to blocking units; Kroot and Piranha.

Pathfinders would have helped to remove cover saves in all three games (KFF, bikes Turbo Boosting and Flat Out). I played in a 1750 tournament over the weekend, and my Pathfinders did sterling work. They even made it through one of the three games without dying :)

I will stick up a report on Incunabulog later.

Old Shatter Hands said...
September 13, 2009 at 6:54 PM  

Rough! Sounds like you just got overrun with all the fast stuff out there nowadays. There are some sick uber units out there that give us Tau a run for our money. Try some new stuff and get some more games in. Even with our old Codex we can still kick butt.

Slate_Blank said...
September 13, 2009 at 8:02 PM  

Sounds like you're thinking of adding in some kroot and some more fireknife config suits. I think you'll find the army more effective that way. I am currently running a 1500 list with one fire knife commander, a 3 man fireknife, a 3 man firestorm squad, and 4 man stealth squad (until I get the rest of my suits painted). I find that this (especially when I get a marker light hit or eight) setup really lets me put a hurt on tougher units like nob bikes etc... Also I run two big kroot squads (10+ 5 hounds) that are surprisingly survivable (especially if you get the charge on the orks).

Damon said...
September 14, 2009 at 7:52 AM  

Glad to see you returning Kroot to the roster. As said earlier, you also need markerlights badly.

If you're going to reshuffle your army, I say do it right!

Drop your flamer battlesuits for more fireknives.

Get not just 1 but 2 units of Kroot with 4+ Hounds in each so you have actual countercharge threats and screens for your suits.

Get rid of all your FWs except a single unit of 6 that you stuff inside the pathfinder's devilfish. FWs really aren't any good; they're the weakest part of the Tau arsenal. If we weren't forced to take them, we wouldn't. (Shouldn't, anyway.)

And don't forget piranhas! You can easily fit two inside a 1500 pts list.

FWIW, this 1500 pts list has worked very well for me, even against fast mechanized armies.

Shas'el, plasma rifle, missile pod, targeting array, HW multi-tracker

3 XV8s, plasma rifle, missile pod, multi-tracker, team leader w/bonding knife

3 XV8s, plasma rifle, missile pod, multi-tracker, team leader w/bonding knife

6 Fire Warriors

10 Kroot, 5 Hounds

10 Kroot, 5 Hounds

8 Pathfinders
Devilfish, smart missile system, targeting array, multi-tracker, disruption pods

Piranha, fusion blaster, targeting array, disruption pods

Piranha, fusion blaster, targeting array, disruption pods

2 XV88s, advanced stabilization system, team leader w/bonding knife, target lock, 2 shield drones

Hammerhead, railgun, smart missile system, target lock, multi-tracker, disruption pods

1500 pts on the nose. :)

Old Shatter Hands said...
September 14, 2009 at 10:51 AM  

@Damon, that looks like a solid list. Man thats a lot of fireknives. How does it fare against horde armies? (next questions, does anyone play hordes anymore?)

Personally, I have a soft spot for Fire Warriors based solely on their looks and the fact that I have spend countless hours painting mine. I wish they were more effective.

Damon said...
September 15, 2009 at 7:59 AM  

It works just fine against hordes, actually. Have you counted the number of big guns there! LOL

Piranhas are great at blocking infantry. Their weaponry typically can't hurt the AV 11 front, and piranhas are wide enough that a pair can wall off close to 13" of space. (Recall that enemy models can't get w/in 1" of your models unless assaulting. And assaulting piranhas won't be so great 'cause you keep them moving 6+" every turn.)

Kroot kick the crap out of a lot of horde-ish units ... provided you bring enough Hounds to the party. Gaunts go splat, and it's hilarious to watch Ork players -- who supposedly have one of the best assault codexes around -- go into fits as our Kroot just eat Boyz unit after Boyz unit without stopping.

You've also got a railgun submunition shot and even SMSs on your broadsides to help out. Not to mention enough markerlights to increase the BS of your fireknives -- who are the real heavy lifters of this list -- as well as remove cover saves. Without cover saves, virtually every weapon this army has drops any infantry shy of Marines. And even Marines get torrented to death pretty quickly. (Having all that plasma helps, of course!)

Anonymous said...
October 23, 2011 at 4:45 AM  

Hey, looks like you had a great time :) My advice would be try swapping the missile pods out on the command team for fusion blasters. You have to get close but if you're good with ranges than these fella's will kill just about anything, including Gaszgkhull and his meganobs in one round of shooting. I've faced him often enough.

I have found more battlesuits to be essential to winning games. My 750 list has a command squad of plasma and fusion and an elite squad of plasma and missile pods. It leaves me just enough room for 2 broadsides with TL plasma rifles and targeting arrays along with the minimum 2 squads of 6 firewarriors. I shudder to think the fire power a list twice that size could put out.

Something like 4 broadsides and a hammerhead with missile pod support should be able to deal with transports, tanks and infantry in general. Especially heavy infantry.

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Warhammer Tau is a group of wargamers who feel that they have a little something different to offer other Tau Empire, Kroot, and allied players... even if it's just a starting point for discussion! Our goal is to produce at least one article per week to inform and encourage the Tau and Warhammer gamer community. For the Greater Good, of course!

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