Thursday, June 3, 2010

Chaos Space Marines (Jesse) vs. Tau (David)

Spearhead, Capture and Control, Tau took first turn.

Turn 1 – The entire Tau force except one Crisis Suit deploys in and around the ruin in which their objective is placed, while Chaos chooses to deploy just one Tactical Squad on their objective, reserving the rest. Tau infiltrates one squad of Kroot to the side, in a forest.

The Tau open up on their sole target; the Crisis Suits and vehicles advance, while the Fire Warriors and Pathfinders remain in the building. Due to the high range, only half the tac squad dies.

Chaos shoots back; a lucky shot from a lascannon destroys the Tau Hammerhead.

Turn 2 – Tau continues to advance, firing all the way, and wipes out the Tactical Squad. Fire Warriors cheer in their apparent victory, as no Chaos units remain on the board, but the veterans suggest they pipe down and prepare for the worst.

This caution is justified as Demons start appearing from the warp; two Demon princes enter the battle, along with a squad of Chosen outflanking and driving up into the Tau building. The Warp is unkind to the Demons, as a squad of Obliterators attempts to materialize inside the Tau Devilfish, instead being blown to atoms; some lesser demons appear off course inside a building, losing half their number. The Chosen fire, and with their flamers nearly clear the bottom floor of its squad of Fire Warriors; the two survivors flee. The lesser demons charge from the untimely building into a squad of Crisis Suits, tying them up in an inconclusive melee.

Turn 3 – With threats erupting all over the place, Tau are hard pressed to decide on target priority. First up are the Chosen – Pathfinders illuminate them with their markerlights, and then Fire Warriors and Crisis Suits pour on the firepower, eventually eliminating them to a man. Perhaps unwisely, the closer of the Demon Princes is ignored, in favor of applying firepower to the Obliterator, killing him, and the further of the Princes.

The Demon Prince charges into the Tau building, and immediately demonstrates to the Tau why he deserved a higher priority, killing 5 Firewarriors, then cutting down the rest as they flee. Some lesser daemons appear to reinforce their Prince, while the second Prince advances, contemptuously cutting down a Crisis Suit along the way. Again, the warp strikes the Daemons, as the Terminators attempt to appear inside the Broadsides; they are forced to detour to a bunker all the way across the map. Meanwhile, a Tactical squad enters the field to replace their brethren slain by the Tau earlier, and begin to move back to their objective. The lesser Daemons continue their melee with the Crisis Suits, for minimal casualties on both sides.

Turn 4 – The Tau panic, and pour on all the fire they can to the Demon Prince in their building. Sadly, this isn’t sufficient, and he still has only two wounds. Those out of range of him shoot at and destroy secondary targets, including the further Prince, but it isn’t enough.

Chaos reigns as the Prince continues to rampage, attacking the Pathfinders this turn; he destroys half of them without taking a wound himself. His reinforcements enter the building to secure the Tau objective, while their brethren continue to advance, regaining their own objective and sweeping through the Crisis Suits attempting to hold them back.

Turn 5 – It’s looking grim for the Tau - no objectives held, no troops close enough to take one, and a Prince rampaging through their building. The few who managed to stay out of combat take some potshots, but their firepower is too little, too late. The Prince finishes off the Pathfinders, burps, and prepares for his third course.

Finally, it’s time for the Prince to taste Broadside – he moves up another floor and starts on them; killing half, he forces the remainder to flee. The lesser Daemons finish off the remnant Firewarriors in the building, and the Terminators reinforce their brethren at the Chaos objective. The game ends, with Chaos in control of both objectives, and Tau mostly wiped out.

Final thoughts – The game started well for the Tau, with their whole army vs. one squad. Chaos did get lucky in destroying the Hammerhead, but it wouldn’t really have mattered in the end. The turning point was turn 2 as most of the Daemons, the Chosen, Obliterators and the Tac Squad all came in from reserve. Jesse positioned them very aggressively, which hurt as he lost a bunch of models to the Perils of the Warp – however, it paid off as he was then able to immediately tie up my best units in melee, and begin the inexorable process of wiping me off my objective. Getting the rest of his army in good positions turn 3 just put the icing on the cake, as they eliminated any hope I had of sneaking out a victory or lucky rolls saving me.

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