Monday, July 8, 2024

Tau vs. Demiurg battle report

When shipments of ores from the Appalachian Subsector came to an inexplicable halt, Water and Merchant caste delegates were dispatched via the next available transport to ascertain the problem. When those envoys also failed to return, the Tau sent a Merchant class cruiser instead, with yet more Merchant and Water caste envoys, as well as Sub-commander Firestorm and her 2nd line cadre along to renegotiate with some fire power if necessary.

Upon locating the wayward Demiurg, the Tau envoys retransmitted the signed and oath-bound contracts to their wayward contractors from orbit. The responding transmissions were garbled, but it sounded as though the Demiurg claimed to not be who the Tau thought they were, claiming instead to be the Wu-Tang or some such nonsense. At a loss, the envoys dispatched Commander Firestorm and her warriors to seek 'clarification' via excessive firepower, to ensure that the Demiurg would once again make good on their ore shipments... 

750 point game, 6 objectives, worth 1 VP per objective controlled, no we didn't bother with the scenario cards and their paragraphs of often confusing text and apparent need to over-complicate the game by passing out  VPs by the bucket load (seriously GW, WTF?).

750 point of Tau = 64 models (plus a few drones)

Rob's Demiurg.

The battlefield. The star wars terrain's rounded edges works well for the Tau I think.

I was taken by surprise by the reality that we've been playing infiltrators wrong in that they don't have to wait till last to deploy which caused me immediate issues as it put his Yeagers in charge range on turn 1! (Rob went first by the way.)

His Thunderkyn on the other side of the board all but erased the pathfinders in one volley, leaving just a lone rail rifle gunner! The railgunner would kill one in return for what little that was worth. 

The Breachers were reduced by half by the Bike squad with a few Hogzilliaries going down as well. The Hogs would soon fall to the Yeager charge giving Rob 3 additional CPs which isn't a whole lot of fun when on turn one you just used the lone CP you had for overwatch. I've never been a fan of the CP farming game mechanic either (although, that was much worse in 9th).

Ignore the Muppet Auxiliaries which didn't take part in this debacle. After doing so, everything else in that tray died on turn 1, before I even got to go! 64 models doesn't mean shit when you lose 40% of your force before you even get to make a shot. Yes I was (am) salty. 

The game was already lost in the stereotypical of 40K 'blown off of the table on turn 1 scenario', as I effectively had about 500 points left to fight off 750 which was already in a better tactical position that controlled multiple objectives. I killed a handful of his models but nothing like the losses I had suffered. Nonetheless, I pressed on...

The cornered Breachers getting ready for a forlorn suicide charge. Ya know the Tau's buddy system for bonus' doesn't work when the nearby units are wiped out. 

Luckily, I took the Mont'ka, allowing all weapons to assault for the first three turns as well as lethal hits (which i forgot about 2-3 volleys in...). Of course GW took all the AP off of my basic guns (thanks for that). The battle shocked Pathfinder was squandering my still single CP to miss with the rail rifle though could at least still guide the other two squads. Luckily Strike teams Suppressive fire rule negates the Judgement token bonuses somewhat. 

Turn two and the Kroot arrived to run up and hose down the T:5 army with S:4 shooting for no effect. The do at least have sticky objectives or, as it shall forever now be known: They leave their bird poop on them and then leave, (we even used a white die to represent this).

The Piranha dropped in and along with being guided by the pathfinder (as well as the carbine squad) and using a strategem to give their carbines -1 AP, the Thunderkyn withered in the crossfire! Following that the Carbine squad charged the nearest unit of stunties. 

This highly unethical (to the Tau) scrum would occupy these two units for the rest of the game, with occasional models expiring, though both units would ultimately survive... 

Had they not charged, they would have found themselves surrounded by, and in the crossfire of 4 enemy units. Unethical or not, it was a highly prudent move. They probably also realized at this close  range that...'Hey, these aliens don't look like Demiurg! I mean, where are the Klingon foreheads?'

The Wu-Tang turned to hose down their new foe...

 Well the pioneers did. They Kroot fellback out of pistol and charge range of the Yaegers. Note the bird poop on the objective remains.

Kroot shooting managed to kill two pioneers who they then charged thru a hail of overwatch fire, followed by bikes heroically intervening. 

Up until this point, Commander Firestorm had only been successfully guiding her subordinates, and absorbing damage. Her weapons have been nerfed into oblivion by GW, meaning instead of the 9th ed beatstick that she used to be, she didn't kill anything in this game! Here she mistakenly strays into grenade launcher range of the Hearthguard and perishes. She only failed 2 out of 9 saves, but unfortunately she only had 2 wounds left.

The Cadre Fireblade assumed command and while his reduced squad continued to blaze away, he tried to confirm reports from the carbine team that their foes are not Demiurg...

Nope, definitely not Demiurg (told you this fight would never end).

It took I don't know how many editions, but my Kroot finally finished of an enemy unit in close combat! Well, the Shaper did, and as you can see by his two wounds tokens though, he didn't last long to savor this momentous milestone!

At this point, I was down to a handful of models who were vastly outnumbered, and VPs were 7-2 in Rob's favor (the pioneers even mopped up the bird shit), and the Tau initiated a hasty EVAC.

Upon learning for the beleaguered Cadre survivors that they had in fact attacked the Wu-Tang instead of the wayward Demiurg, the Tau's envoys transmitted a letter of apology along with a coupon book good for a few free meal deliveries from their local Earth-Caste Grubhub (Oh, and this is the 'Greater Good' by the way, where all the meals are free...). Then they broke orbit and hurriedly left the system.


Well that was...awful, or at least turn 1 was. The rest of the game wasn't so bad even in spite the futility of it all. That said, I do have a few after action caveats: 

First up Rob has played this army extensively, and wading thru every level of Screech induced Cheesy Necron hell along the way. So he knows every trick in the Votann's book. Me on the other hand, this is my Tau's first outing in 10th ed., and a lot of the good things that my atypical army had in 9th ed. are no longer there (simpler not simple, right?). 

Yes. That glowy green kind of Necron hell...

Two notable examples are that all of my pulse weapons lost their -1 AP &  marker lights are ignores cover only. Sure there's no roll to hit and the Observer/guided/spotted mechanic is supposed to replace that, but it will take some practice to figure out how to use best. 

Ah, the good ol days. 

Then of course Commander Firestorm's experimental airbursting fragmentation projector which in 9th ed was S:4, AP-1, hit on 2's and you could have (2) of them. Now the (obsolete) airbursting fragmentation projector hits on a 3 (4 if firing indirect), is S:3, no AP and you can only have one of them. She also had the experimental thermalneutronic projector which was a sort of weird roll-to-hit flamer that doubled as a close combat weapon that rivaled Commander Farsight's dawn blade. Now, its just a flamer. 

Honestly, in 9th ed Firestorm propped up the army, charging anything that got into my lines, and while rarely winning said fights, she would tie enemy units up for several turns, inflicting heavy losses along the way. She can't do that anymore. 

For example, after charging and killing 4 plague marines, they fell back and in a desperate attempt to shoot her to death!

Firestorm is an obsolete Legends model (which is fine for a 2nd line army like mine), but her weapons need to be completely swapped out (stay tuned for my next post). For this game, I had already removed one projector leaving her with the other one, and a flamer. So equipped she's really only good at killing units like Grots, (ironically) Kroot, guardsmen, and other types of cannon fodder. Hardly a fitting role for a Commander of any stripe. 

I guess it will be back to the drawing board for my Tau in order to find a way forward. It was however good to see Rob & (briefly) Neverness. Especially as I'm not sure when I'll be back up in Tennessee for a game with either one of them. 

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