1850 Tourney: Round 3 vs. Tau

June 8, 2016 ·

Image result for tau vs tau stormsurge

Round 3 of our local tournament. For the final showdown it was Tau vs. Tau!

Final Round

For a summary of Round 1 go HERE. Short of it is that I won the game narrowly.
For a summary of Round 2 go HERE. Short of it is that I won by a wide margin.
My list is HERE

Going into the final round against the only other undefeated player in the tourney. He played Tau and he played a list very similar to my own:

Combined Arms Detachment

  • Commander w/ DC, SG, & 2 Marker Drones
  • 6 Fire Warriors
  • 6 Fire Warriors
  • Tetra
  • Tetra
  • Unit of 2 Stormsurges. One with the Driver Cannon and one with the Blastcannon
Riptide Wing
  • 3x Riptides with Heavy Burst Cannons, SMS, & Stims
Obviously, we had the same ideas, though he had the second Stormsurge model for his list. I would have done some things differently but it was obviously working for him so far. My biggest issue would be saving myself from his greater quantity of D missiles, after that I felt that I had the upper hand in terms of Anti-MC firepower.

The Mission

Ironically, the mission was pure Kill Points. We each had a "base" building which was worth extra points if destroyed. Slay the Warlord, First Blood, Last Blood.
I won the roll-off again, which was huge. Shooting first in this game would be one of the deciding factors, so I was quite relieved.
Since I played Farsight Enclaves and he played Tau Empire, we viewed this as the loyalist Tau trying to beat my Enclaves back into the fold.


I put most stuff forward, thinking I'd need to close with him eventually. I started the Y'vahra in reserves and deployed the rest out front. He deployed opposite, castled up on top of his "base" which granted him a 3+ cover save (grrr). We both had the same amount of Kill Points so it would be quite the interesting game.

First Turns

I focused my first turn on clearing out his markerlights. The leftover shooting (which was quite a bit since he didn't have many markerlights) went to the Stormsurges. We traded fire but I came out with markerlights and he didn't. I was able to kill both Stormsurges, his tetras, his commander, and one squad of Firewarriors. I had forgotten about his base, which was a bummer since I definitely could have destroyed it with the amount of high Strength blasts I kept dropping on top of it while shooting the Stormsurges.
In exchange, I lost my Tetras, my Culexus, one of my Crisis suits, and my own Stormsurge. Since Lord of War granted extra VP's for wounds stripped, I was pretty far ahead going into the later part of the game.

Later Turns

The Y'vahra went down to the enemy Riptides' Hailstorm attack, but he ate almost the entire shooting of all 3 Riptides shooting twice! The shear volume of firepower and good saves on my part really took the wind out of my opponent's sails. After that he slowly whittled down one of my Iontides so I retreated him back with 1 wound left in order to deny the Kill Point.
My other two Riptides advanced, killing one of his Riptides and wounding another. I wiped out the second Firewarrior team which left it mostly to just the Riptides. He had greater volume of fire, but I had better accuracy (markerlights) and AP2 weapons so it evened out.
Stormsurges are gone, now the grind begins...
Remarkably, neither of us rolled hardly any 1's when Novacharging our Heavy Burst cannons, which was pretty neat. I advanced my Riptides up close, thinking I had the game in the bag so I could afford to be brash and possibly destroy his "base" in close combat next turn. He charged me instead and I lost one of my Riptides to an insanely accurate set of close combat attacks (he hit and wounded me 3 times with 4 attacks and I failed all my invulnerable saves). We rolled for game end and it was over.
2v2 in the final turns


It was a bloody grudge match between very similar lists. However, getting first turn and packing a bit more AP2 in my list made a big difference.
I had killed his Warlord, got 4 extra VP from his Stormsurges, and got First Blood. Neither of us had killed a building but he got Last Blood.
The game was closer than I thought it would be, ending 18 to 12. Enclaves win out against the Empire!

Wow was it brutal though. His Stormsurges never moved so I was fortunate to have killed one of them before he started shooting me twice each turn. I think that I correctly gauged the biggest threats and was lucky enough with the dice to neutralize them when I needed to.
I played too aggressively in the end, and I was stupid to keep forgetting about his "base" which I easily could have killed for another 3 points if I'd only remembered it was there. I got it down to 1 hull point at the game's end.

I won the entire tourney as the only undefeated player. The Baronial Court+Riptide Wing player came in second because he had more Victory Points than the other Tau player even though they both had 2 wins and a loss.
So the top 3 lists all had a Riptide Wing in them. Hmmm....
Pretty rad if I do say so myself (I make these for our tournaments)

List Tweaks

Now that I've played a tourney with the list, I want to look at what I would change for next time. Honestly, winning the tournament makes it hard to change the list. I had thought that a list like my last opponent's would be nastier than my own, but mine won out in the end. Instead, I'll look at the parts that under-performed but I'll still keep:
  • Culexus: I didn't encounter a single psyker this tournament. There were two players using a Librarius Conclave, but I never played them. The Tyranid and Daemon players did not attend either. As such, my assassin did very little this tournament.
    However, I feel that when I DO face those players, I will be glad he is around. I certainly don't want to write him off just because the armies I faced weren't his ideal matchup.
  • Skyfire: There were literally ZERO flyers at the tournament. The closest thing to a flyer was my Y'vahra. So I literally wasted 40 points on velocity trackers for the Stormsurge and Bursttide. Even so, 40 points isn't that bad and I would have been very glad to have them if I was facing either Daemons or Tyranids.
  • Early Warning Override: I played one player who used reserves, and even then it was unintentional. On the plus side, his error allowed me to remove his marker drones before he got to shoot at me. Total, this was only 25 points so it was a sound investment I think. Nobody was running Drop Pods, which was my fear, but I think it is too good of a deal to pass up.
  • Fusion Blades: Didn't use them once. I got close in my first game, but my opponent gunned him down as soon as he knew what it could do. I love this upgrade, so I doubt I'll drop it, but it really was a waste of 50 points this tournament. I'm sure I would have been grateful for it if the enemy ever broke through my lines though. It was always a backup plan, so I suppose I shouldn't be upset that I didn't have to use it.
  • Talisman of Arthas Moloch: Since I didn't face psykers, this wasn't really used at all. I would have been better served with a regular Shield Generator. This is something I'm seriously considering, since the Talisman has yet to impress me. It has caused my opponents to think twice on only a couple occasions. I think I might exchange this until I actually have a reason to bring it.

Thanks for reading! Tau rule, at least in my area! 


Firewasp said...
June 10, 2016 at 9:06 AM  

Congratulations on your win. Shows how brutal the riptide wing can be with the top three armies running it. I think with the current meta taking the ion accelerator is a better choice then the heavy burst cannon. As you don't have to use the nova charge on the weapon to keep it effective against other riptides / heavy units. Allowing you to save the nova for ripple fire with the hailfire, 16 sms shots twinlinked is nice against things like warp spiders. And 6 ion shots is arguably more effective than 24 HBC shots at other 2+ save units.

Skyler Hoeft said...
June 13, 2016 at 5:32 AM  

This is very true. Since I had AP2 built in, I was able to focus on keeping my 3++ invulnerable up for when those occasional Rends popped up.

Reave said...
June 21, 2016 at 12:23 PM  

I've only tried a Riptide Wing once against my friend's Eldar. I never got to use them - the first turn, he opened fire with all of his jetbikes, shuriken cannons, and snipers... despite not a SINGLE AP2 shot coming their way, I managed to roll 11 1's on their saves, losing two right off the bat. Another group of 6 drones and 3 XV-9's completely buckeled thanks to a set of 14 failed saves (1's and 2's everywhere).

I've never tried the Riptide Wing again. I think it is karmically balanced against me.

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