Railguns VS Battlewagons

September 24, 2009 ·

September 24, 2009

On Sunday Marc came round for some more games of Warhammer 40K. His Orks were back, but this time the Tau were ready for them. Well, as ready as they'd ever be.

As someone who does not believe in tailoring their army list to beat a particular opponent, I had developed my Tau force to better take on all comers.

The fact that I had twin linked missile pods for light armour and flechette dischargers on all my tanks is just a happy coincidence. Oh, and smart missile systems, which are essentiall for extra range and more shots on the move.

Only after making the upgrade did I realise that I could only fire 1 burst cannon and the railgun on my Hammerhead whilst moving.

We played 2 games because game 1 was over in about 15 minutes. I deployed only my long range anti-tank units and Marc set up opposite the Broadsides.

The Skyray moved into markerlight range, hit the Big Mek's Battlewagon with both markerlights, which were used to knock the 4+ cover save down to 6+ for the Broadsides, who (hitting on 3+ with rerolls) penetrating the Ork vehicle and blew it up.

With the side armour of Ghazghull's Battlewagon exposed, the Tau Hammerhead moved into sight, hitting it in the side armour with its railgun.

Marc failed his 4+ cover save and this Battlewagon was also destroyed.

Stranded in the corner Marc quite rightly conceded. But the second game was tougher!

Game 2

The strength and weakness of this Ork army is the Battlewagons. Unfortunately your first 2 turns will tell you how the game is going to go. If you can destroy the Big Mek's and Ghazghul's Battlewagons by turn 2, you're likely to win. If not, you're like to die -screaming!

This second game was Kill Points and Table Quarters. Marc set up as close as possible to the centre of the table, while I set up in my quarter as far back as possible.

Please note that I was VERY careful with my unit placement. I had to be over 42" away from him. This would give him Turn 1 to move 13" (red paint job) and in the following turn call Ghazghull's WAAAGH! for a total move, disembark, fleet and charge of 29". That would give me 2 turns of firing.

Well, I got my 2 Turns of firing. Thank god some of my reserves had shown up to fire their missile pods into the side of the Big Mek's Battlewagon, otherwise it would never have blown up!

My luck was atrocious, which meant it was time to see how the game would go if I COULDN'T blow up 2 Battlewagons in the first 2 turns.

Please note: I was a complete dufus and parked my Hammerhead on top of a building where it immobilised itself in the following turn.

By turn 3 I had managed to destroy two of the Battlewagons, but by then the Orks were into me and 1 Battlewagon was still operational. The Skyray had been torn out of the sky, Snikrot's Kommandos had outflanked from behind the Broadsides, dissecting them in short order before making their way to the immobilised Hammerhead. Although its flechette dischargers took a horrific toll on the Orks.

The Orks stranded on foot were gunned down by massed Tau firepower, but nothing substantial enough to wipe out the Big Mek's mob in a single turn. So it took 2 turns instead.

The Orks proceeded to chase the Tau around the edge of the board (in the usual Tau way) as Tau firepower did very little and the skimmers kept moving away. Thank god this game wasn't with multiple objectives!

The game ended on Turn 6. As always, I could have done with it ending on Turn 5, or continuing to Turn 7, but that's just sod's law.

Had I placed my Battlesuits a little better, I could have killed his trukk with another round of fire (instead of just immobilising it) and kept my Skyray and Hammerhead alive for another turn. But hey, we all make mistakes. I'll just have to learn from them.

Now to look forward to Marc unleashing his Ork Biker Nobz which he will be replacing Snikrot's Kommandos with. I'm short on firepower as it is, so that should prove interesting to say the least.

Marc killed: 1 Broadside Team, 1 Skyray, 1 Hammerhead and 1 squad of Tau Firewarriors
I killed: 2 Battlewagons, 1 Ork mob, 1 Big Mek
Result: Draw

A few mistakes on my part. Marc could have been more aggressive with his Battlewagon charge at the start of the game, but it made little difference.

God help me when Marc swaps Snikrot's Kommandos for Biker Nobz, because then I will be screwed. I'm sure I don't have the firepower to put them down as well, but we'll see.

Overall I'm pleased with how the Tau army played, even if I did waste a whole 15 minutes deploying 3 units while working out the attack range of Marc's army over 2 turns in relation to their position on the board. But the revised Tau army list works!

The anti tank units drew the Ork army in while the rest of the Tau army arrived from reserve on the opposite flank and fired missile pods into the side armour of the Battlewagons.

Flechette Dischargers didn't get to do much. Although 3 turns of firing the flechette dischargers into some Orks inflicted a lot of casualties, but the tank still got smacked by a power klaw and killed. I could drop them and get another Tau Battlesuit.

Now there's something to think about.


Raptor1313 said...
September 24, 2009 at 4:39 PM  

The problem he'll have with Nob Bikers is that they cost to kit out well. As an example, the basic 5 Nobs on Bikes with a Painboy costs 225 points, and that's minus gear. Consider the need for 2-3 klaws, and you're already at 300. You're talking a very expensive squad, and it's another ~150 minimum to get a Warboss on a Bike to make 'em troops.

If you bring plasma rifles on the bulk of your suits, you'll do a ways towards solving the problem as you'll get through his FNP. Past that, the usual brand of backing up and/or sacrificing units will serve you.

Anonymous said...
September 24, 2009 at 11:14 PM  

hey Adam,
been reading your site since it popped up more or less. Great content. Found you when I was looking for a paint scheme and yours inspired me! (yes, meaning mine is more or less the same! Sorry :) )

Tactically, I think losing the flechette's for a 3rd Deathrain suit is too good an option to not take up.
Yes the flechette's can hurt the enemy bad, BUT, if your devilfish has been assaulted, we both know it doesn't have the legs or the armour to run away or survive. Let it go!
Keep the flechette's maybe on the Heavy Support vehicles...we need to make the scum pay for taking out our babies, but I think the transports are expensive enough as WarFish.
Just another thought, how about running a squad of Kroot (10 Kroot, 6 Hounds) as an area blocker. Put around your broadsides, who are no longer mobile at all, and protect them from assault for a turn or two, keep melta weaponry & drop pods away from a hammerhead too if you pop him inside the kroot ring...Cheap at 113 points... Would've kept Snikrot away for one turn in this example. Don't need to say how cool that would have been...two BS4 TL-Railguns...
Hammerhead in there too would be protected from that DS'ing Terminator squad, Drop Pod full of Melta Weaponry/Melta&Fist Dread...
Also the kroot provide cover saves for the Broadsides as B's are Infantry class models...save points on shield drones...
Anyway, first time I've commented, will sort out a profile next time!

Adam said...
September 24, 2009 at 11:17 PM  

Hey Andy,

I stopped taking Kroot a while back because they just die without providing much of a screen. Besides, my Broadsides rarely need a 4+ cover save as they're usually in cover and don't move much anyway.

See the previous battle report regarding what Snikrot did to the Kroot. lol.

Yes, I know that Kroot are there to die and take some of the flak, but I could spend 70pts better elsewhere.

Deathpoint said...
September 25, 2009 at 12:08 AM  

Just want to point out something, leaving your hammerhead on top of the building ment that the orks couldn't assault it, or at least only 1 or 2 orks could assault it.

If a unit cannot stay on a building surface then it cannot be placed there, although how much that would of helped I don't know.

If you had be able to play the tank so that it took the whole top up then the only thing he could do it shoot you off

Adam said...
September 25, 2009 at 1:00 AM  

Yeah, but that's a big gay and not really in the spirit of the game.

Pearlygates said...
September 25, 2009 at 1:44 AM  

I still think that your main concern here is having too few f/ws in a squad.
And if you did have carbines you may have had a chance to pin the dirty greenskins each round (dont really know the stats for orks but im guessing that they're not all fearless.

Adam said...
September 25, 2009 at 1:47 AM  

I think you need to go read the Ork Codex. Their 'mob check' special rule makes pinning weapons redundant.

Pearlygates said...
September 25, 2009 at 2:15 AM  

fair enough! lol

Old Shatter Hands said...
September 25, 2009 at 7:31 AM  

Hey Adam, I just played an ork army like this: 7 Nobz Bikers, 8 Regular Bikers, 2 battlewagons with boys inside, One big mek to give both battlewagons a coversave, boyz in a trukk and deffkoptas outflanking.

The flachettes did wonders to discourage ork assaults. I would move 12 inches so that he could only hit on 6, while my flachettes still hit on a 4. My opponent didn't like those odds at all! I Once I was able to kill 6 orks (out of 18) with flachettes and then my deathrains moved in to wipe the squad out with flamers...it was sweet!

Soundwave said...
September 28, 2009 at 2:04 PM  

I read most of your battle reports and I've noticed that there's mostly always a low kill count in your KP games, for both sides. I was wondering if that's common for your gaming group?

My last game, I play Plaguemarines, ended with a 14-10 win to me, against Guard. My games against my Tau friend end with similar scores to that (obviously not as high as 14, as Tau don't generate as much as Guard!).

Do you have any tips on how to keep the KPs low?

Adam said...
September 28, 2009 at 2:11 PM  

I just build my army to be effective, as do my friends.

When it comes to KPs with guard and marines, they simply field full size squads to keep the KPs as low as possible.

SinSynn said...
September 28, 2009 at 5:04 PM  

Yay my Google account is working!
Well played games, sir!
I must say I haven't really had a problem w/Orks.
At 1750 I bring 3 piranhas. They block the lanes while my 3 hammerheads/6 fireknives/3 deathrains pummel the crap outta the Orks-who can always be depended on to rush right into it.
And 3 Hammerhead submunition templates per turn-on Orks?
Pure evil >;)

Tellos said...
October 2, 2009 at 3:17 AM  

Well I have found with my Dark Angels Tau only casue me problems when we get into kroot with city fighting or similar close terrain. Or when I have to try and out shoot them and for even the shootiest dark angels force properly equipped tau forces tend to lay waste to be in anything but a hand to hand fight. Orks are only issues once in close combat or you have a shoota boy/flash gitz havy force who then proceed to saturate you with gunfire.

Anonymous said...
October 3, 2009 at 4:45 PM  

You think Skyrays are necessary to kill battlewagons/Land Raiders? Just for the markerlights? I never take a Skyray in my lists, I always just take another hammerhead instead.
After all, don't you have a better chance with 2 shots at a 3+ then one shot at a 2+?

Anonymous said...
October 3, 2009 at 4:49 PM  

I always just take another hammerhead instead of a Skyray. Two shots at a 3+ is better than one at a 2+, yes?
Granted, the skyray can also use MLs to weaken cover saves the battlewagon gets for being obscured, but it seems like your more likely to take out Battlewagons/Land Raiders with just *more* railguns.

Adam said...
October 3, 2009 at 8:25 PM  

That's why you use the markerlights to knock down the cover saves for the Broadsides.

SinSynn said...
October 4, 2009 at 8:34 AM  

So happy my Google nonsense got sorted out.....
Adam, I agree with you regarding the importance of Markerlights. Funny, it almost seems as if the codex FORCES you to play the Tau in a synergistic fashion, with markerlights as the cornerstone, and combined arms to do the labor.
Crisis suits have bs3-WHY? What happened to the vaunted 'Tau Tech'? The Tau can't design a decent targeting system?
No. GW wanted us using markerlights. Every codex offers it's Army a 'perk' that is usually only associated with that army. Markerlights=Tau.
Some folks use Pathfinders. You are a fan of the Skyray. We do what we have to.....

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