1850 Tourney: Round 1 vs. Space Marines

June 1, 2016 ·

---Shas'el Bork'an J'Shas'ka cut the thrust to his jets and landed lightly atop an abandoned Imperial bunker. His battlesuit's auto-sensors detected none of the outpost's inhabitants, so they had likely fled the area. A wise choice, given the circumstances. El'J'Shas'ka understood this particular type of Gue'ron'sha was especially zealous and was just as likely to kill loyal imperial subjects as they were to kill their actual enemies.
The low rumble of the approaching armoured column grew, filling the air and sending vibrations through the battlesuit. The Tau commander steadied himself and prepared to send targeting commands to the school of marker drones revolving around him.---

1850 Tournament: Round 1

You can check out the list I brought HERE.

My first opponent of the day was Space Marines. He is a fluffy Black Templars player but he was trying out the new Angels of Death formations.

Anvil Strike Force
  • Land Raider Spearhead
    • 2 regular Land Raiders
    • 1 Land Raider Crusader (warlord)
  • 3x Tactical Squads (5 marines w/ a Flakk Missile Launcher)
  • Armoured Task Force
    • 1 Techmarine
    • 1 Thunderfire Cannon
    • 1 Predator w/ Lascannons
    • 2 Vindicators
Officio Assassinorum
  • Culexus Assassin
Officio Assassinorum
  • Eversor Assassin

Ordinarily, vehicles are an easy game for Tau, but he had a LOT of vehicles and they were all basically immune to everything except an Explodes! result. He was also packing a large number weapons that worked well against my Riptides and Stormsurge.

The Mission

3-card Maelstrom but you also scored objectives that you held at the end of the game. This mission type should favor me since I had the better mobility.


we basically split into two flanks. My Stormsurge, Bursttide, and Y'vahra faced his Land Raiders+Predator while my other units faced his Vindicators. I made a big error here because I had the option of Outflanking my Y'vahra which I definitely should have done (Strategic warlord trait).

First Turns

Unfortunately, even though I won the roll-off he seized the initiative and was able to kill my Y'vahra right off the bat (boo!). He also had an exceptional first draw so he scored all of his cards and got First Blood. So after turn 1 he had 5 VP's to my 1.
That hurt since the Y'vahra was one of my major anti-vehicle sources. The D missiles I was able to fire didn't do a whole lot of damage and most of my Stormsurge's weaponry was pretty useless against the AV14. My first turn of shooting did very little so I was feeling pretty discouraged.

Over the next couple turns I cleared away the marine squads, Vindicators, and assassins from the one flank while he took down my Stormsurge on the other. I got the objective where you need to kill the first two things you target, and scored 6 points on the single card (whoohoo!) closing the gap of objectives. My Riptides were starting to run low on wounds, especially the Bursttide that kept burning itself with its own weapon.

My Stormsurge about to lose his last wound to Deadpool Eversor Assassin

Later Turns

We both started to slowly wear each other down. His vehicles just kept pounding away at me while I was struggling to put hull points on his land raiders. To make matters worse, his Power of the Machine spirit allowed him exceptional shooting efficiency while my Riptides were at the mercy of the scatter die. I failed some key rolls in the later turns but I made some amazing invulnerable saves too. Overall, the game was actually going my way since I was consistently scoring objectives while he was confined to a corner of the board. Assuming he didn't table me, things were looking good.

The game ended on turn 5. I had scored 15 points to his 13. He had two wounded Land Raiders, including his Warlord and a techmarine, while I had a Riptide at 4 wounds, the Culexus, and a unit of marker drones hidden in the backfield to avoid being tabled.

Lessons Learned

  • Outflank the Y'vahra: I should have recognized how deadly the lascannon barrage would be to my poor Y'vahra. My plan of distracting him with the Stormsurge hadn't worked, likely because he had faced my Y'vahra before and knew how potent it was.
  • Kill the Warlord. I suppose I hadn't realized just how powerful the ability to have a vehicle shoot twice Every turn would be. If I had sacrificed some units (mainly the markerlights) to get maximum marker hits on his Warlord I could have hit him with 4 D missiles ignoring cover. 
  • Riptide Hailfire: I moved my Riptides before using this power, which isn't allowed. I felt this balanced out because I forgot I even had the ability till turn 3. 
  • Focus Fire. I was a bit scatterbrained after a long hiatus away from the game. It showed in how I targeted things willy nilly.
  • Keep the Riptides within 6" of each other, especially the Bursttide. I failed at least two Nova rolls, even with re-rolls. Then the Bursttide hurt itself with Gets Hot! 
  • Aggression. I only started to turn the tide after my MC's started to get close. His Eversor frightened me so I hung back but I probably would have been better off running straight at him and getting into combat on turn 2. It might not have worked, but I think it would have been a better use of my Bursttide than hoping for Rends.


Overall, it was a fun game and he was my favorite opponent of the day. His list was fun to play against and it was refreshing to see a marine army that didn't include psykers, bikes, or thundercav. The special detachment and formations really helped make it playable. He took 5th out of 8 players.

My own army was disappointing me a little bit. The Culexus at least had killed some tactical marines and a techmarine, but the Stormsurge hadn't killed hardly anything and the Y'vahra killed exactly nothing. The Riptides did all the heavy lifting and kept me alive to win the game but I think much of that was luck.


QuantumGravity said...
June 2, 2016 at 9:57 AM  

what about using the contingent bo boost stormsurges?
i don't feel like those 2 troop crisis are making the deal when you have to decide between farsight and contingent!

Skyler Hoeft said...
June 8, 2016 at 5:07 AM  

I think that I would be more inclined to use the Hunter Contingent if I had multiple Stormsurges. Since I only have one, it doesn't benefit me a whole lot since so much of the rest of my points would be sunk in the Riptide Wing, which doesn't benefit or contribute to the Contingent.

The Dawn Blade contingent was something I wanted to make work, but had a lot of the same problems while being more expensive.

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