Battle Report: Tau vs. Tau

July 22, 2013 ·

I attended the Feast of Blades qualifier tournament at my FLGS. I wasn't expecting to do super well, but I was planning on learning alot! My first game ended up against the only other Tau player present at the tournament, of course...

Feast of Blades Qualifier: Round 1

My opponent was a new 40k player, and he had never played with Tau in an actual 40k game. Also, he did not have enough models to net the 1850 points so he was playing with a severe handicap. On the one hand, I wasn't too happy, since I had wanted to play some experienced players, but on the other hand I remembered being that young and my first tournament, so I was glad to give him some tutelage on playing with the Greater Good. This battle report likely will not have too much help as far as tactics.

Keep a couple things in mind while reading this report. 
I do not remember exact locations/numbers of units, only the general idea, so don't stress if the models in the pics don't always line up with what I'm saying.
Shield drones are not depicted. They are essentially ablative wounds, so I left them out.
I do not remember exactly how many of each unit died at each time, only a general idea of which units suffered losses. I only

My Army

My army list can be viewed HERE. It is a full mech. list intended to be a TAC.

His Army

A hodge podge of almost all infantry. It came up to almost 1400 points.
  • Ethereal
  • Commander and Bodyguard with 3 different weapons each
  • 6 stealth suits, 2 fusion blasters
  • 12 firewarriors
  • 10 firewarriors
  • 10 firewarriors
  • 8 firewarriors
  • Kroot blob with some hounds thrown in
  • 8 pathfinders with 2 railrifles in Devilfish
  • Skyray


Deployment was Dawn of War, Scenario was essentially Big Guns Never Tire, No Night Fight.  Below is the board and terrain. The 5 "Idols" are the objectives. We both rolled the 3D6" thrust move for our warlord traits.


I decided to deploy as if he actually did have some anti-tank shooting, with my vehicles mostly out of sight and spread along my board edge. I put the piranhas on the flank to zoom around behind his Skyray.
I kept my carbine firewarriors in reserve, deep striking my commander, and outflanking my stealths.

He deployed his Skyray opposite mine, hiding from my Railguns. The infantry deployed everywhere else, filling up the deployment zone with some in cover and some out.
He outflanked his stealths and deep struck his commander.

Turn 1

I zoomed my piranhas straight up to his Skyray, shuffled my vehicles out of cover to get some lanes of fire open.
I opened up with a bunch of SMS and Submunition rounds on his firewarriors, killing a fair number of them and causing 3 morale checks. He failed one check on the left flank and the unit vacated cover. My marker/deathrain squad in the ruins fired on the Kroot, killing some. I forgot they could target different units, but I'm not sure I would have done anything different.
 My opponent moved all his infantry forward. They fleeing unit failed to regroup and ran off the board, giving me First Blood.
His Skyray targeted the nearest Devilfish and managed a Stunned result. His pathfinder railrifles either missed or failed to glance/pen. His infantry fired on the unit in the ruins, but only managed to kill a few marker drones.

Turn 2

All three of my reserved units arrived from reserves. The commander came down on target in the center of his line behind the Devilfish, the stealths came on the left board edge, and I zoomed the 3rd Devilfish flat out past my hammerheads. My piranhas dropped their drones before moving to shoot side armour.
My piranhas managed a Stunned result on the Skyray (rolled a 1), my marker/deathrain squad missed all its shots, and my commander's assassin squad killed only a single Kroot (I was hoping to land a precision shot and kill the Shaper). The stealth suits killed all but one of the gun drone squad. My SMS killed some pathfinders and my Submunition rounds killed some more Firewarriors.
I jumped the commander's team away from his infantry and jumped the piranha gun drones out of sight behind the nearby building.
 Both of his reserves came on this turn as well. However, his commander scattered 7" onto my Devilfish, and I was able to place them inside a ruin on his side of the board, away from most of my units. He advanced what units he had left, and brought his stealth suits on behind my own stealths.
His stealth team killed one of my assassin suits and a shield drone. His Kroot were partially in Rapid Fire of my marker/deathrain team, so he opened up on them. He killed everything except two suits, one of them wounded. His commander and remaining firewarriors fired on my piranhas. Different piranhas were closer to different units so they each lost a hull point, and one was Stunned.
At this point, we were told we had 15 minutes left. I had obviously won, but I needed to see how many points I could finish with. I moved up all my fishes, unloaded my troops, and fired everything I could at his commander.
I killed his commander and claimed every objective and secondary objective. The only point I failed to get was the extra point for killing his Skyray.


The game ended 18-0 in my favor. In a normal game I could only have captured 3 objectives, but since all my gunships were scoring units, I had no trouble claiming every one. That plus the secondary objectives really put me ahead in the tournament. It was a dirty victory, considering he was a new player, new to Tau, and only had about 1400 points. 
His most effective shooting was done by his Kroot, nearly wiping out my deathrain/marker squad. He made a lot of mistakes and I offered suggestions when I could, but I didn't want to turn it into me playing both sides of the board. He learned a lot, and I got a bit of a warmup in the process. 
I learned some things as well. SMS are awesome! Some people really like having a couple spare drones to throw around, but I am sold on the SMS. Submunitions worked out pretty well too. Dropping S6 AP4 blasts on firewarriors really gutted the squads and was every bit as effective as an Ion blast would have been. My piranhas were underwelming. I really needed at least 3 for them to be an effective tank hunter unit. Definitely the next unit on my "To-Buy" list.

Hope you enjoy this one. The next ones will be a bit more helpful as far as experience and lessons go.


17yearoldhobbyist said...
July 23, 2013 at 2:03 AM  

I too remember being a new player too, and being only a while ago, it keeps me in check when playing new players. It can be irritating though, but we were all new to it once... Weren't we?

Nathan Watt said...
July 23, 2013 at 12:58 PM  

Sounded like a good first experience for the newbie. I find it fun to listen and watch new players in GW when they're being taught by the staff.

I love how animated and enthusiastic the staff are, but it's great to see new people enjoying the game and starting to learn.

Now adays its tv or electronics, so it's great seeing people try something unrelated to the newest gadgets

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