Battle Report: Tau vs. Grey Knights

July 21, 2014 ·




--Vre'Ho'kais whispered over the comms,"Target in sight Shas'El". Obviously there was no need to whisper, there wasn't a chance that a human would hear him speaking. Indeed, were a human standing a tor'lek away, Vre'Ho'kais would be both invisible and inaudible thanks to his stealth field generator and sensory detection dampers. He watched as the Gue vehicles crawled slowly between the outer buildings of the ruined city, red and silver against a dreary grey landscape. 

"Acknowledged Shas'vre, hold your position"

The vehicles rumbled closer, fanning out in a sweeping formation before leaving the relative protection of the surrounding buildings and entering the rocky plains. They were not heading for their religious fortress as O'Sha'is'Nen had expected them to. Instead, it almost looked like a pincer movement, encircling the Tau ambush, but that was impossible, they couldn't have known. His audio sensors started to pick up something else, it sounded like a Gue aerial propulsion system, getting closer. The order came suddenly, ahead of schedule, "Fire on your pre-designated targets! Fire now!" 

Vre'Ho'kais stepped from his cover and raised his Burst Cannon, his stealth field flickering as he moved. To his astonishment, he was met with a hail of Laser and Bolt fire from the Gue transports. His unit's stealth fields made them nigh invisible, but the enemy had known their position somehow! He fired his Burst Cannon at the nearest Gui vehicle that had been marked as his designated target. Surprise was gone and their ambush had apparently failed, but it didn't matter now. He'd kill all these Gue regardless.--

Battle Report: Farsight Enclaves vs Grey Knights, 1000pt

Last weekend I got two games in for our group's Escalation league, winning both! For the Greater Good of course!
Lots of 'firsts' in this game, but he conceded after 4 turns. My opponent's rolling was terrible, but I felt that I had the game clinched regardless. Read on if you want to see how my "All Suit" list did!

The Lists

Farsight Enclaves
The whole list is HERE, but here is a quick rundown of my units:
  • Commander with fusion blades+cyclic ion blaster and 2 shield drones
    • 2 Helios accompanying him
  • 5 stealth suits
  • 3 Deathrains with 2 marker drones
  • 3 Fireknives
  • Riptide with ECPA, Ion Accelerator, and FB
Grey Knights
As expected, he added a Storm Raven+Terminators, and upgraded his Inquisitor to Coteaz.
  • Inquisitor Coteaz
    • 5 Grey Knight Terminators accompanying him (all in Storm Raven)
  • Storm Raven with Lascannon, bolters and missile launchers
  • 5 strike knights in Razorback (lascannon)
  • 5 strike knights in Razorback (hvy bolter)
  • 5 Inquisitorial henchmen (vets with hotshot lasguns) in Chimera

Deployment



Mission: Maelstrom Mission 5
1st Turn: Grey Knights (I successfully seized but I had to re-roll, darn Coteaz!)
Nightfight: No
Psychic Powers: He had Prescience, Forewarning, Misfortune, plus all the Grey Knight ones
Warlord Traits: We both rolled on the Command table. I got #5 (re-roll 1's to shoot) and he got #1 (leadership bubble) 
Reserves: I deployed everything, but he had kept his second Strike Team in reserve to Deep Strike. He also had Coteaz and the Terminators in the Storm Raven
Objectives: I can't really keep track of the specific objectives accomplished, but I'll do my best to remember.

Turn 1

Grey Knights turn 1
His henchmen moved up to claim the closest objective and his loaded Razorback moved up to claim another. We were using mysterious objectives, but none of the objective types had any bearing on the game, so I'll ignore it hereafter. 
His shooting was pretty weak right now so it did not result in any casualties. 
I believe he scored a victory point for holding a certain objective.

FSE turn 1
My Riptide successfully nova-charged its shield. I shuffled my Deathrains closer to an objective and to get an angle on his Chimera. My Fireknives hopped up to claim the objective in the emplacement. My Helios+Shas'O moved forward to get in range of the Henchmen in the ruins and my Riptide moved straight forward into the open to try and attract attention. However, my opponent had lots of experience playing his own Riptide and had probably decided he was going to ignore it, as he didn't really target it all game. My Stealth Suits hopped closer to his Razorback.
Shooting phase! My Deathrains destroyed the Chimera's multi-laser, my Helios+Shas'O group killed 3 Henchmen due to some unfortunate cover save rolling. My Fireknives stripped a hull point from the loaded Razorback and my Stealth Suits stripped another (it had cover from the forest). My Riptide tried to finish off the Razorback but missed or failed to penetrate.
For my Thrust moves, I pulled my Stealth Suits back to the barricade, put my Riptide farther into the open, finished moving my Deathrains onto the objective, and moved my Shas'O+Helios back towards their hard cover. The Fireknives stayed put in their emplacement.
I scored no objectives this turn, but I'd done a little bit of damage so things weren't all that bad

Turn 2

Note: I am going to display my previous Thrust moves during the enemy turn. Think of my units doing this move first, before his turn actually starts. 
Grey Knights turn 2
His Storm Raven came on with ease (Coteaz!) but his second Strike Team did not (sad day). His Razorbacks didn't move but his Chimera shuffled sideways a bit to make a move for the left-hand objective. His Storm Raven zoomed to the center of the board. I told him that he could move a LOT closer if he wanted, but he didn't want to. I was confused, but perhaps he expected my suits to stand still until his turn?
During Shooting he managed very little. His Razorbacks failed to kill anything, but wounded one of the Fireknives. His Storm Raven wounded my Shas'O once, killed a Shield Drone (Look Out Sir!) and killed one of the Deathrain team's marker drones. The Henchmen and Chimera targeted the Riptide but the Riptide armour blocked everything.

FSE Turn 2
The only units I moved were my Riptide (closer to his side of the board), and my Helios+Shas'O to get some distance from his Storm Raven.
My Deathrains, as the best equipped units for the job, targeted his Storm Raven. They hit 3 times, forcing him to Jink and still stripping a hull point! (note, Jink is supposed to be declared before you roll to-hit, but we'd forgotten and I let it slide since it was a rule neither of us were familiar with). My Shas'O+Helios took a couple potshots at the loaded Razorback, hoping to dismount the Strike Team for my Fireknives to kill, but their long range plasma shots did nothing. My Fireknives finished off the wounded Razorback, forcing the Strike Team to dismount. My Stealth Suits were waiting patiently for them and proceeded to kill 3 of them with a storm of Pulse fire. My Riptide tried its hand at destroying the other Razorback, but had no luck. The Razorback got me First Blood but I don't think I had any other objectives yet.
I used my thrust moves to shuffle the Stealths back into cover and my Shas'O+Helios behind the big rock formation.

Turn 3


Grey Knights turn 3
His other strike team arrived  from reserve. He placed them on top of the left-hand objective to hold it. He moved the full 12" and then disembarked the Terminators with a perfect Deep Strike (Storm Raven rules). This put them within just a few inches of my Shas'O+Helios, but they were unable to charge because they used Deep Strike. 
He cast a flurry of psychic powers giving his unit 3+ invulnerable saves, Twin-Linked shooting and Rending when shooting my Warlord's unit.
The Strike Team that just arrived ran to get spread out and his other team shot at the nearby Stealth Suits, killing nothing. The Storm Raven hit nothing since all of its shots were snap-shots and the henchmen failed to wound my Riptide (the only thing in range). The Chimera and Razorback's Heavy Bolters failed to kill anything either. His Terminators opened fire, but the shooting was less than impressive. My commander lost another wound but everything else was saved by armour saves. He forgot that his weapons were twin-linked until he'd almost finished, which was a real bummer for him. 
None of his units could assault this turn, so he was done. I believe he scored a second objective for having a unit in my deployment zone.

FSE Turn 3
I moved my Helios+Shas'O farther from his Terminators, keeping the impassable rocks between him and myself, and shuffled everything else. 
My Deathrains stripped another hull point from his Storm Raven (no longer Zooming) and my Helios group finished it off. The blast scattered wide and didn't hit the Terminators (oh well). My Stealth Suits finished off the two grey knights in the trees and my Fireknives tried to kill off the two Henchmen holding one of the middle objectives (I had the card that needed me to hold twice as many objectives as him, so I need to clear out his objective holders) but failed to kill them. My Riptide tried to kill the Razorback and merely stunned it.
My thrust moves were pretty good, so I managed to keep my Helios group pretty far away from his Terminators. I kept the Fireknives just a little bit in reach as bait. If he managed to assault them then he'd be stuck in a corner anyways. I believe that he was still winning on VP's as he'd accomplished 3 or 4 of his cards. Mine were somewhat tough to accomplish, but I had the upper hand in the battle so far.

Turn 4

Grey Knights turn 4
We drew all of our mission cards and finally got our first "secure objective X" cards. All in all, there were 4 cards up for grabs on the table and by the looks of things, I was setup nicely to get 3 of them. 
His terminators started coming around the rock formation and his Strike squad stretched out a little bit so that his psycannon could fire on my Deathrains. 
He wounded one of my Deathrains but didn't kill it. After checking assault ranges (12" to my Shas'O or 10" to my Fireknives) he decided to forgo his shooting and run his Terminators closer to my Helios+Shas'O, but only ran 2". 

FSE turn 4
I moved my Stealths to secure one of the objectives and left everything else as it was. I Nova-charged my Riptide's thrust move to 4D6, planning to capture the center objective and try to double the objectives held by my opponent. 
I started shooting by Overcharging my Riptide's Ion Accelerator. I figured that he didn't have much chance to getting through the 3+ Invulnerable save, but he would seldom get another chance as perfect. The large blast scattered just a few inches, netting 5 hits and 5 wounds. He failed 3 of his saves, losing 3 Grey Knight terminators (including the one with the wargear that grants Feel No Pain). At this point, he called the game. His major unit had been cut in half and I had only just started shooting. I was poised to get all 3 secondary objectives and I was about to pass him on Tactical objectives as well.

Results

At the point that we called the game, I believe he was technically winning by VP's, but he stood very little chance of winning the game. Had we simply finished out turn 4 I would have been winning by VP's and possibly killed off his Warlord+Terminators, all while losing only two drones.

Final Thoughts

This game felt like a tainted victory. I had easily trounced him but I felt like much of that was due to his poor rolling. Not only did he fail more saves than average, but he also failed to wound my models quite a bit. Perhaps it only seemed that way, since his shooting phase was naturally so weak, but losing only 2 drones over the course of the game really demoralized my opponent.

Things I liked
  • The Deathrains worked perfectly. Forcing the Storm Raven to jink and stripping two hull points from it really neutered its second shooting phase.
  • Shas'O. Though he didn't do any of the things he wanted to do, his Warlord Trait was pretty handy since I kept him within 12" of the Stealth Suits and Fireknives toward the end of the game. His Stimulant Injector and Shield Drones really made him a tough nut to crack too.
  • Riptide. It pretty much failed to do anything all game, but it DID kill 3 grey knight terminators with options, ending the game on its own. This impressed me, even if the overall performance was lackluster.
Things that did not impress
  • Marker Drones. They hit exactly nothing all game. They really need a Drone Controller in the squad at the very least, or they are no better than other drones. I will either try to get them some more support or I'll just replace them with Shield/Gun drones at the 1500 point level
Everything else performed as expected, doing their jobs quietly. There's something to be said for consistency, and not everything has to be flashy. I'm sure that if the game was going badly, these "working class heroes" would have been more important to the overall victory. I'm still getting the hang of Farsight Enclaves, but the overall mobility of the list is astounding. When they need to get some distance from enemy assault units, they sure can move! 

Thanks!

Thanks for reading, and let me know what you think! Was I making any glaring errors that a better Grey Knights player would have been able to exploit? What could the Grey Knight player have done better?
Anything that comes to mind, comment below!

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