Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Grubnards GT Countdown T-9 weeks

Da Boyz GT Practice Games

This past weekend I attended the month tournament at Millennium Games along with the other members of The Grand Strategery and co-authors of the Mandulian Chapel. The event format was 1850pts with no comp restrictions but the guys from the Grand Strategery (and the guys from Beef and Wing) decided that we would run our lists using the GT format to test out our lists. Now this would mean that most of our opponents would be playing lists without any restrictions but this would help us see how well our lists would hold up in an all comers format.

As most of you know I would be bringing my Tau. Prior to this weekend I have only had one other game with my Tau since the new codex came out and this was also going to be my first games using the riptide and Missile Pod broadsides so this weekend was going to test my abilities using this army.

Game 1: Hammer and Anvil 5 Objectives, Crusade
For this game I was up against Devin and he brought a Chaos Space Marines with Daemon Allies list. Devin's army is a joy to play against as he uses many models from different armies across the Warhammer fantasy and 40k ranges. His conversion work is really well done but I don't think my pictures did his army justice. I played Devin last month with my Eldar and I won that match so I was interested to see how well my Tau would hold up against this list. His army, by memory, included:

Huron Blackheart
Chaos Sorcerer on a bike
Squad of Possessed Marines
2 or 3 squads of cultists
2 obliterators
Squad of Bikers

Daemon of Tzeentch on a disc
Shoal of Screamers
Pack of Daemonettes
Soul Grinder

I won the roll to go first but decided to defer it to Devin since this was an objectives based mission (mistake #1). I deployed along the back line to give myself plenty of time to shoot his army as it cames towards me. I placed my commander with the missile sides team but I made a major error here.

My deployment
For weeks I've been telling myself that I need to put the commander up front to soak up any high strength shots with his Iridium Armor and shield generator but during deployment I put him in the back (mistake #2). Devin's opening shots from his two obliterators scored a hit on the front broadside with a lasCannon, killing the suit and forcing me to take a leadership test. The commander has a leadership of 10 but I rolled an 11 and then for the fallback roll I roll another 11, causing the remaining broadside and the commander to flee!

Devin's deployment and opening moves.
His screamers and bikers moved up fast and the screamers were able to assualt my riptide on turn 3, preventing it from shooting for the rest of the game.

Devin's screamers move up the field...

...and assault the riptide.
 My kroot and hammerhead were able to whittle down the bikers to just the sorcerer but in the end I was unable to kill it.

Down to 1 wound left but unable to kill him.
Devin was able to misfortune the riptide in successive turns, causing it to die to a combination of the remaining screamers and possessed.

My crisis suits were able to deep strike behind the soul grinder but all of my twin linked plasma, melta, and missile pods failed to cause any damage on the rear armor due to bad dice rolls. They were then wiped out in the following turn by the soul grinder in CC.

My broadsides with heavy rail guns failed to do any damage to the heldrake, which burned up a squad for fire warriors on one objective and a squad of pathfinders.

In the end, Devin won with a solid victory, holding 3 objectives to my two. He also scored first blood, Slay the warlord, and line breaker.

In looking back at what I did, Devin pretty much had this game from the start. I deployed poorly and he capitalized on it. Plus I put too many of my units in reserve, which reduced the amount of supporting fire that was able to shoot at the screamers when they initially charged into combat. The pathfinders performed well, allowing me to strip the cover save from his bikes and screamers as they moved up the field. Plus my dice rolling was up to par with how I normally roll but in the end I was simply out played by Devin. It was a fun game and I was able to learn a lot from it.

Grubnards - Loss

Game 2: Vanguard with 3 objectives, Big Guns Never Tire.
This game I played against Neil and his Orks. His list was something like

Some other named Ork character
3 battle wagons all with lootas
Gretchins manning an aegis line and a large squad of boyz

This table featured a lot of LoS blocking terrain in the form of a large Dark Eldar city. The terrain was beautifully crafted by Chris Courtney who is a member of the Da Boyz. We rolled for deployment and Neil selects a corner well behind the large building in the center. I get a corner with a walkway that I was able to put my broadsides up high to hopefully gain clear lines of site.

Both sides deployed. Game on!
Neil wins the roll to deploy first and puts two of the three objectives in his corner. I put mine in my corner. I fail to steal initiative but we do have nightfight, which benefits my suits and hammerhead.

Opening turn he is able to shoot and destroy both of my pathfinder squads with massed shooting from the lootas. There goes my chance of removing cover saves, that just leaves the MSS on my commander. My shooting fails to cause any damage to the wall of Armor 14 vehicles.
Pathfinders gone.

Turn 2 he pops out Zogwart and moves him up towards my commander and lets me know that I need to roll off against him. He rolls higher and tells me that my commander is now a squig. Yikes... Believe it or not I have never faced off against zogwart nor do I know anyone who runs him in their army so I was totally caught off guard by this ability. So at the beginning of turn 2 I am down both squads of pathfinders and a commander. I was able to finally blow up the battlewagon that dropped off zogwart with the riptide's TL fusion blasters. The rest of my army whittles down the lootas with massed shooting. My hammerhead fails to wound the other battlewagon.

The riptide advances...

...and blows up the battlewagon. The rest of my army whittles down the crew.
The rest of the game sees Neil pulling back most of his units to protect the objectives in a very un-orky like manner, forcing me to advance towards him.

At the end of turn five we are both holding one objective and I am denying the 3rd one with my crisis suits. If the game ends now I would be able to pull a draw but we rolled for a turn 6 and it goes on. Neil is able to shoot the crisis suits off of the objective and then tank shocks my stealth team, which promptly fails their leadership and break. They were my only shot of jumping back up to deny the 3rd objective in turn 6.

Another shot of the entire board - midgame.
 In the end Neil held onto his two objectives and I held mine. We both destroyed 1 heavy unit apiece, giving Neil a solid win. For secondary objectives he scored first blood and slay the warlord while I did not score any.

I felt better about how I played but losing the pathfinders and commander so early hurt me. Plus my list simply did not have enough high strength weapons to deal with 3 AV14 vehicles and the large amounts of LoS blocking terrain ending up helping him since I lost most of my ability to ignore cover saves. About the only thing I could have done differently is deploy further back but with night fighting and cover I figured I would have been safe deploying up near the front of my deployment area.

Grubnards - Loss

Game 3: Dawn of War, The Relic

My final match would be against Bill from Beef and Wing. Bill, like myself was at 0-2 with no secondary objectives, putting us both at the bottom of the list.

His list was:
2 squads of marines in rhinos
1 assault squad
Sternguard in a drop pod
Storm Raven

Bill wanted to play the C:SM list one more time before the new dex becomes legal at our shop.

We roll for and get night fight and both deploy centrally to make a run for the relic. Bill fails to win the initiative and I go first.

My deployment

Bill's deployment

This game was a total opposite of my first two. My shooting ends up wrecking both vehicles on turn 1, pretty much forcing his troops to foot it to the relic. My pathfinders were spot on pretty much all game, lighting up his units and allowing me to pick them apart. His sternguard drop-podded in next to my riptide and ended up putting 4 would on it before i could wipe them out.

Sternguard arrive and shoot up the riptide.

My commander fisting the last sternguard.
Later on Calgar would knock the last wound off of it in CC but then he himself fell to massed firing. Bill's storm raven did not come on until turn 4 and with it he was able to strip off the last wound from my commander, giving him slay the warlord. In the end I was able to table his army and grab the relic for a win.

Turn 4 the storm raven comes in. The only other models he has left are the two marines on the hill.
This game went much better for me. Being able to go first and cripple his movement was huge. Plus my markerlights were on fire.

Grubnards - Win

So with my first event with Tau I went 1 win and 2 loses but I came away with some good lessons which I will keep in mind for future games with the list. I think I will consider swapping out the devil fish for something else, maybe a couple of more suits. The devilfish simply did not move fast enough to make a difference in getting the squad of warriors where I wanted them and it was destroyed in all three games. The stealth suits were mainly there for a distraction and they served their purpose and when utilizing markerlights they were great. I hope you enjoyed the recap from this month's event.


  1. Good summaries of the games and tournament as a whole.

    One thought for the second game - with the LOS blocking terrain in the center and deploying second, you are going to get 3+ or 2+ cover from the buildings. If you deploy the pathfinders to be blocked by the building edges - they will grab 2+ cover (4+ and Shroud) while being able to lightup the vehicles.

    Then a deployment on each extreme flank by your Hammerhead, Riptide and Missilebroads exposes the side armor of the wagons unless they pull back - which means Snap Shots for the Lootas at best In both cases you still enjoy 2+ saves for most of your army and if he advances to get them down to 3+, he has to snapshot. Even with 135 shots - snapshots going out means about 19 wounds before cover and 3 dead pathfinders afterward.

    Those wagons have huge side arcs that become very vulnerable in vanguard strike and flanking manuevers.

  2. That Ork match up was real tough for Tau also. Not unbeatable but like calypso said, you have to approach it the right way. Side shots on battlewagons with marker lights to strip the KFF. If you have to screen pathfinders, a hammerhead in front of them with kroot or fire warriors in front of that should be enough to block LoS. Then move the vehicle 6" and open up with marker lights. Still, 45 lootas are going to remove a couple units a turn which hurts.

    Devin's list should have been much easier since he's basically splitting his army and coming at you in waves, which Tau can dismantle one at a time. Losing first blood, broadsides, and your warlord with one shot was the kicker, but I thin if you played the same match again you could pull it off.

    Glad you brought the Tau out for a practice run, better luck next month!

    1. Agreed, the first match was more about mistakes I made and bad dice rolling. I always seem to mess up on my first games each month and then bounce back in the later games.

      The second game can be chalked up to lucky shooting and not knowing much about orks. Very rarely do I get to play against them and I was more worried about their assault phase rather than shooting, which is why I kept everything together to take advantage of supporting fire in case he assaulted me. I didn't realize that lootaz could put out so many shots per turn. As you said, that many lootaz and guns on the battle wagon was hard to swallow in the opening phase.

      When I played Steve's orks in last months event he played his orks aggressively and assaulty (in an orky fashion) so dealing with a player who primarily relied on shooting and castling in a corner was unexpected. Plus in a mission with an uneven number of objectives and my opponent having two in his corner was an uphill battle from the start.

      I definitely think I am going to drop the devil fish for more crisis suits next month.