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21
I'd forgotten just how much I enjoyed reading the tales of Bella, I hope the battle goes well for her so we can read even more.

I'm liking what I'm seeing so far, bring on the rest of the report.
22
"Wait..." said the Farseer, "Didn't...  Didn't your Kabal fight Vect and Lady D'ysperax not that long ago?  Didn't we... nearly kill them?"
Heh,I remember that battle. I may have to go back and reread it.

You know, I enjoy all your characters, but Bella is definitely one of my favourites. She's adorable! And so is the image of a talos in a party hat!

Anyways, you said DE are more powerful than Tau, and since you won your previous battle that pretty much proves that you'll win this one. Still, I look forward to seeing how you manage it.

Quick question, you fought the guard a few times now. Would you say they're more or less powerful than the Tau? I've been thinking of reviving my old mech guard army since I can't seem to win with tau without using a nearly pure gunline which I find boring.
23
--------------------------------------------------------
Dark Eldar vs Imperial Guard in "Bella's New Friends (1500, 5/18)
--------------------------------------------------------

Hi All,
I have another BatRep, this one my first battle with the new Dark Eldar.
It was played right after my Tau battle, so same board setup and mission.
However, the new Dark Eldar...  they're pretty good.
The Codex itself is a lot more flavourful than the Tau one and quite frankly, power-wise I think it's a big jump.

So, I took a Black Heart Battalion for it's 6+ FNP save on everything (including vehicles) and the game changing Agents of Vect Stratagem that lets me deny Strats.
Oh, and for fun, I decided to bring out a trio of Talos.

Why?  Mostly because I needed to keep half my army on the board, and since you now have to count Power Points...

Well, the Talos are big point sinks that hopefully won't get blown off the board turn 1.

I had heard that they were the "special sauce" in the Codex, so I also wanted to see what they could do.

That is, if they ever got to the front lines.

But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

How did the True Kin do?

Were things over in a heartbeat or was it a slugfest?

Read. On.

Best,
-BT

P.S.  Comments and Critiques greatly appreciated!  Plus, there is fluff...

--------------------------------------------------------------

Dark Eldar (1500): 23 Infantry, 3 MCs, 7 Vehicles; 8 CPs
Black Heart Battalion
-Archon w/Huskblade, Blaster
-Archon w/Agonizer, Blaster, Writ of the Living Muse
-Warriorsx5 w/Blaster
-Warriorsx5 w/Blaster
-Warriorsx5 w/Blaster
-Ravager w/Disintegratorsx3
-Ravager w/Disintegratorsx3
-Razorwing w/Disintegratorsx2
-Razorwing w/Disintegratorsx2
-Raider w/Disintegrator
-Raider w/Disintegrator
-Raider w/Disintegrator
Prophets of the Flesh Patrol
-Haemonculus w/EC Whip, Vexetor Mask
-Wracksx5
-Talosx3 w/Chain Flails, Macro-Scapels, Haywire Blastersx6
Warlord: Labrynthine Cunning, Diabolical Soothsayer

Imperial Guard (1500): 59 Infantry, 9 Vehicles; 15 CPs
Cadian Brigade
-Company Commander w/Kurov's Aquilla (Warlord)
-Tank Commander w/Battle Cannon, Lascannon
-Tank Commander w/Battle Cannon, Lascannon
-Primaris Psyker w/Force Staff
-Commissar
-Commissar
-Commissar
-Infantry Squad w/Mortar
-Infantry Squad w/Mortar
-Infantry Squad w/Mortar
-Infantry Squad w/Mortar
-Infantry Squad w/Mortar
-Infantry Squad w/Mortar
-Scout Sentinel w/HFlamer
-Scout Sentinel w/HFlamer
-Scout Sentinel w/HFlamer
-Manticore
-Manticore
-Manticore
Warlord: Grand Strategist

-------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------
Chapter 15: Bella's New Friends
------------------------------------

The spiked door irised open to show another empty room.  The figure in the entryway raised a concerned eyebrow and brought a thin hand up to his face, rubbing his chin in thought.

Farseer Thielbane of Craftworld Biel-Tan was now officially worried.  This was the third similarly empty room that had he had checked.  Once, it had held another of his Craftworld brethren, but now it was empty.  Thielbane had noticed the subtle absence of Craftworlders aboard the Drukhari vessel that they shared, but it had taken him a slightly longer amount of time to confirm his suspicions. 

They were gone. 

All of them. 

Not all the Eldar per se, but the Craftworlders, surely enough.  Sadly, he had let his own guard down, not having bothered scrying the future since Y'stral was away.  The Archon of the Grisly Hand Kabal had sped away in the dead of near-night on some sort of mission that left Thielbane minding the proverbial shop.  The other Craftworlders had thought the Farseer mad for not bolting at the nearest opportunity, but Y'stral had been a staunch companion for such a long time, it seemed unseemly to leave him in a lurch.  Plus, the Archon was as vengeful as a Y'nnari with half a Soulburst and getting on his bad side was something to be avoided.

Thielbane leaned against the wall in thought, trying to avoid the spikier bits that hummed slightly with the far-off wails of anguish from the Torment Pits.  He should really consider leaving though.  His Craftworld had been shattered and the Seer Council was in disarray.  Surely if he wanted to be a major player he could easily come in and assume more than his fair share of power.  But, that seemed more trouble than it was worth.

"Thiel!"

A familiar shout broke his reverie, and the Farseer looked up to see Archon Y'stral striding forwards carrying an enormous sack.  He was wearing his usual black and red raiding armor and sporting a near-maniacal grin.  The game was clearly afoot.

"Y'stral.  I'm glad you're back.  Do you...  Do you know where the others have gone off to?"

The Archon laughed and said back with a sneer, "Oh, those losers?  Don't worry about it, Thiel.  I sent them away."

A jolt of shock went down Thielbane's spine as the edges of some dark mechanization started to form on the edges of his mind.  "Away?  Why?  I... They wouldn't just... leave me here."

Y'stral shrugged and said, "Yeah, well, you can't do much when you're under sleep-venom.  I mean, besides the inner screaming and all."

The Farseer rubbed his temples.  Not dead at least.  That was good.  "I...  You didn't... kill them, right?"

The Archon snorted and said, "Nah, I knew that'd put you in a snit.  Those boring sticks-in-the-mud were just holding you back.  They'll wake up soon enough.  Now, we have something big to do, you and me."

Thielbane frowned and said, "Y'stral, I can't just abandon my companions.  I..."

"Ffft, those losers?" snorted Y'stral, "I have 'em kept up in one of the secured holds.  Nothing'll happen to 'em while we have a little fun.  C'mon, don't you at least want to hear the details?"

Thielbane tapped his foot, sighed and said, "If we do this do you promise to let them go, unharmed?"

Y'stral grinned, threw an arm around Thielbane and said, "Absolutely, Thiel.  Absolutely.  Now, I've got this great opportunity.  Been away a while.  The Dark City and all.  Lots of big changes.  Vect really came through and all.  You gotta see it, Thiel.  It's all...  It's like a rummage sale over there.  Raiders and Venoms just flying out the door.  I picked up so much on the cheap.  And all I had to do was just trade some favours around."

"Favours?" replied Thielbane, recognizing a dreaded word amongst Drukhari society, "What... kind of favours?"

"The kind that aren't THAT bad.  Vect had just gone off and killed a lot of Archons that were openly backstabbing him and let bygones be bygones for others as long as they swore loyalty and all."

"Wait..." said the Farseer, "Didn't...  Didn't your Kabal fight Vect and Lady D'ysperax not that long ago?  Didn't we... nearly kill them?"

Y'stral shrugged, "Yeah, but c'mon, Thiel.  You think something like that's gonna hold back some potential deal-making?  If you stopped dealing with someone just because they killed you once or thrice, you'd never do any business in Commeraugh.  Anyway, I put us down as being Vect supporters."

"You did... WHAT?"

"Yeah, I know.  They didn't even have hats or anything.  Just this stupid tablet thing.  'Writ of the Living Muse.'  Hah, more like overwrought paperweight," growled Y'stral, "Anyway... so all we have to do is keep doing what we're doing.  You know... winning?  And now we can get so much on the cheap and get real weapons Thiel.  REAL weapons.  I don't know what they were doing to the Huskblades, but that's back and oh, oh you HAVE to see the Blasters now.  Knock your socks right off.  Blow 'em off more like it."

Thielbane whet his lips, "So... you pledged us to... eternal victory in the name of a vengeful Supreme Lord who will supply us with weapons and equipment, but has the reputation of destroying anyone who disappoints him?"

Y'stral sighed and said, "Thiel, Thiel, Thiel.  That's the Craftworld talking.  We were hanging on the ledge before, but now we're back on top.  All you have to do is never lose."

The audacity of the situation made Thielbane sputter for a bit, which gave Y'stral the opportunity to throw the bag he was carrying onto the ground with a clatter.

"What...  What is that, Y'stral?"

The Archon smirked, opening it up and holding out various pieces of savage looking gear.  "My old stuff.  Extra armor.  Oooh, double faced helmet with horns, classic.  Old Agonizer.  Good ol' blaster.  In perfectly working order."

"I... See..." said Thielbane, not liking where the conversation was headed.  "And... why do you have it all here?"

"Because," continued Y'stral, his smile spreading into a rictus grin, "I need a Dracon.  Someone who I can trust NOT to stab me in the back."

"What?" said Thielbane, genuinely shocked, "You... can't be serious.  Y'stral...  I'm not..."

"Not the notorious Space Pirate that made the galaxy quake?  Captain Thielbane of the Scarlet Serpents?  Him?  That's not you?"

Thielbane sighed.  It was this conversation again.  "You... know that's not how it works.  That was a different path.  A different me.  I can't just..."

"Pretend?" shot back Y'stral, playfully jabbing a finger into the Farseer's chest.  "But, which one is the real you, Thiel?  Is it this simpering half-competent Rune-lover or is the pirate who made girls squeal and Admirals quake in their boots?"

The Archon pulled the horned helmet up, and Thiel could see his own reflection, twisted in the dark metal.  Something about it seemed familiar.  It... called to him in a way.  Something deep within his soul asked a question that had been long since hidden:  Why not?

Thielbane whet his lips and said, "Y'stral...  If I do this... it'll be... for the good of the Craftworld.  Just to let you know."

"Of course," said Y'stral pressing the helmet into his companion's chest, watching as a familiar look crossed the once-Farseer's face, "Good of the Craftworlds.  Can't be helped.  Did what you had to do.  Just this one time, Thiel.  You can stop after that.  I promise."

--------------------------------------------------------

"Sergeant, repeat that last message."

Commander Oswald Jenkins of the Cadian 555th was on a routine patrol of his artillery divisions when an odd message had come down the Comm-bead links.  The old, grizzled Commander had been through more than he could nearly bear.  Being too far away from Cadia when it fell, he felt the damnable pit of despair open up and swallow him whole.  Only by taking in the refugee Guardsmen of their once-bright homeworld did he feel any solace.  That and when he was smiting the foes of the Imperium.  However, his unit was breaking in new additions and repairing his transports.  It would be days still until they could break position, but it did offer him time to test out the new Manticores and make sure that their usually unreliable Storm-Eagle rockets at least worked.  And things were shaping up.  Until the call.

"Sergeant Collins here, sir.  Repeating message.  Three.  No, make that four contacts sir in the ruins of fifth sector.  Xenos.  Definitely Xenos."

Jenkins frowned.  Xenos?  This far away from the trading lanes?  How could they have gotten in without tripping any alarms?

"Are you sure, Sergeant?  Not some kind of trick by the locals?"

There was a pause and the somewhat more sarcastic reply came back.

"Sir, begging your pardon, but unless the locals are 5-odd meters tall and sporting giant blades, then, respectfully, no, sir, I'd say we're dealing with Xenos."

The Commander frowned.  Collins was a ten-year man with no history of tomfoolery.  Whatever it was, it was serious.

"Keep your position, Sergeant, we'll be there soon."

Jenkins turned off his comm-bead and tapped open the comms of his Chimera, boosting the exterior speakers.

"This is Commander Jenkins.  We're moving out.  We have possible Xenos on the horizon, men."

There was some murmurs of discontent that spread through the assembled Guardsmen.  Most were looking for vengeance against the hated Ruinous Powers, not against some nebulous third party.  But, a few glares and growls from the Commissars shut down any signs of unrest.

Jenkins nodded to himself.  Best to take care of things swiftly, then.  No need to waste time on reinforcements if just a handful of stragglers.  He tugged at his graying beard in thought.  No, something about it seemed off.  Too easy.

He opened up the internal comms to the Manticores.  "Lads, you too.  I want a proper field test of your guns.  Let's see how the alien likes rockets to the face."

---------------------------------------------------------

X'Bella Le'gosi floated slightly off the ground surrounded by her Trio of Talos.  Some time had passed, but the Archon's instructions were clear.

1) Go through the Webway Portal to the assigned area.

2) Stand out in the open.

3) Wait for the party to start.

Bella scratched a few more notes in her book.  The Archon had established new connections with the Black Heart Kabal, which had oddly made the once aloof Prophets of the Flesh reach out to her Salon of Sorrow.  They had usually ignored her and her small group of creations, but now that alliances were being made, Bella had been almost surprised when a sizable number of raw supplies were left mostly screaming on her doorstep.

And it was a nice opportunity to make some new friends.  She looked around at the three gigantic monstrosities that hummed as they slowly hovered nearby.  Bella had yet to name them, but it was nice to have some new faces around.  And it was just perfect timing that she had finished up before the orders had come in. 

It had taken her some time to do research about a "party," but the base elements were clear: libations, entertainment and converstaion.  The Archon's instructions were unclear, though, if she was hosting the party or if she was joining an ongoing one.  Still, she had brought the necessities.  One of the Talos had the appropriate large and multi-coloured pointy hat, the other sporting an array of liquid intoxicants and the third pre-programmed with appropriate aural interjections.  Having the Talos around did make the entire affair much more straightforward.  Indeed, the future overall seemed less foreboding.

Actually, it was just less chaotic.  By utilizing the broken Soul-Stones from the last few missions alongside the Craftworlders, analyzing the raw fundamental possibility strains of the universe and divining a semblance of the future was no longer an impossibility.  She wondered if this is what a Farseer felt like, looking at the bright sun of tomorrow, just beyond the reach of certainty.  How much it felt like...

"BELLA!"

Bella looked up to see a somehow familiar looking armored Eldar waving his hands in front of her.  She blinked for a moment.  The suns had moved rather far in the sky.  Time had passed then. 

With a nod of her head, the Talos went into immediate action.  One of the Talos helpfully dispensed a frothy drink into a cup, another let go with a stream of sparkles into the air from it's Haywire Blasters, and the last howled in an approximation of a friendly greeting recorded from the Hive Fleet Behemoth.

Instead of showing signs of appreciation, the stranger took a few steps back, shook his head to re-center himself and continued.

"Bella!" interjected the strange new guest, "You have to get out of here!  The Imperials are bearing right down on this position.  I've got a Raider ready to go!  Just get on board and..."

A high whistling sound made Bella look up curiously as something clipped the ruined building next to her and the subsequent seismic explosion launched the stranger off his feet into her.  The Talos growled in discontent, but Bella turned her head to indicate that dismantling was not to be done at this particular moment.

The stranger pulled himself off, realized that his helmeted face had been buried in her chest and muttered a confused apology, looking shamefacedly away.

How curious indeed.  She had never seen such a behavior in a Kabalite before.  Perhaps it was some kind of viral infection?

"Bella, it's too late now, that was a ranging salvo.  We're in the thick of it now.  Damnit, Y'stral, why do we cut these things so close?"

Bella noted that one of the Talos was looking at something far away and glanced down the broken avenues, her head turning from one side to the other side in curiosity.

Humans.  Rows upon rows of humans.  So this was that timeline then.  Bella made note of the happenstance as something hit another building knocking around some more inconsequential material.  Perhaps they were the guests to the party?  It was a good thing that she had brought extra supplies then.  She nodded to the Talos, who settled into position.

This was going to be an interesting day indeed.

----------------------------------------------------------

Mission: Big Guns Never Tire

Setup: Dawn of War

----------------------------------------------------------

To Be Continued!
24
Battle Reports / Re: Tau vs. Imperial Guard in "Guards and Gunlines" (1500, 4/18)
« Last post by BigToof on April 30, 2018, 02:03:47 AM »
Certainly not as bad as you were suggesting then, those last few turns looked really quite comfortable.

When it comes to using all these stratagems would I be right in thinking that it's better to use them earlier in the battle when you still have a load of units?

I enjoyed the fluff, I suppose playing Imperial Guard every now and then let's you create loads of different characters for your own armies to defeat, you could even have different regiments for each battle.

Well done on the win, looking forward to the next report.

Job's a good un!

Hi Cammerz!

Thanks for the reply.  I didn't feel as good going into this game, and I think I did make some errors.
I didn't utilize the drones as freely as I should, and I think we played the Manticores as having AP-3 (they're -2 btw).
As for the Stratagems, they're kind of hit and miss.
The Command and Control node lets you re-roll missed hits, but you can't shoot with your Commander.  (Kauyon does something similar but it's all units in a radius and it's only once a game.)  The Markerlight buffing strat is kind of useful, but sort of mediocre (as you can only add to units you hit already and the first hit is the only really useful one).  The Battlesuit repair one is also pretty decent.  Overall, nothing really amazing, but serviceable over all.
Also glad you liked the fluff!
I like the Guard as they tend to make for easy characters, but right now, I'm not as thrilled for the Guard as I can't really use Deep-Strikers and Outflankers the way I'd like to and I'm not super fond of gunlines...

Woohoo! Great to see the Tau actually pulling off a decent win here. I was worried that this just wouldn't be a good edition for them.

Coldstars are awesome. I've been experimenting by going more gunline recently, but I just can't help loving their ability to more or less go anywhere and cripple anything. Combine that with their Character ability to hide until the right moment, and they really do become the perfect explanation of the Mont'ka. Mont'ka in the codex is usually described as being all about striking key targets, hard and fast, at exactly the right moment. Attack too early and they die unsupported, too late and the target has probably already done too much damage.

I have to admit, I'm a little suprised at how pro-kroot you are. I've usually found that they just die and flee too easily, and while I understand the need to block deep strikers and other fast units, I haven't found them all that good at it. Then again, most of my local opponents don't really deep strike all that much, so maybe it's just differences in local metas.

As for your own tale, I don't think that two Piranhas are really enough to deal with... anything really.  Other than board control, have you been liking them?  Haven't tried them yet, but I'm always open for suggestions!
Depends on what you use them for. They put out moderate firepower (about the same as a three man stealth team, whilst being cheaper), but they wont usually kill anything on their own. But they're small and non-threatening enough to avoid being a priority target for you're enemy, and their speed and toughness makes them very effective roadblocks. In my last game I had one hide behind some ruins for a few turns, only to suddenly park it in front of a incoming CC blob. My opponent couldn't go around it, was built mostly for anti-infantry so it couldn't easily go through it, and I'd taken out enough of their anti-tank that they couldn't kill it with the rest of their army. It basically saved my gun line from being disrupted long enough to let me wipe them out with mass shooting the next turn.

As far as suggestions go, I personally like them a lot. Most of my games these last few months have been 35 power level, yet I've happily spent 16 out of that 35 power level on a speed themed outrider detachment. It wasn't always effective, but having the slowest thing in the army be a devilfish team with 12" movement is a lot of fun.

I do have one unrelated question though. Have you ever use any of the Tidewall fortifications? I ask because I've been really tempted lately, especially since a fireblade in a droneport could be an interesting alternative to pathfinders, or even a good way to keep them alive...

EDIT. Quick point, you mentioned at one point that your Vior'la Commander used his stratagem to wipe out a Leman Russ. What stratagem was that? Because the Vior'la specific stratagem is infantry only.

Hi Mabbz,
Thanks for the reply.  The Vior'la one is... oh.
I didn't catch that... thanks :)
I guess since we played as Manticores being AP-3, that gives me some feeling back that we both played things out wrong.
I have not played with a tidewall yet, as they don't seem that durable, but I suppose I will need to do something as my Vior'la build is kind of invalidated then at the moment :)
I'm actually somewhat tempted to go Tau as their Stratagem is expensive, but quite brutal with the +1 to wound for everyone who adds shots in on an already wounded target.
Hmmm... more to think on it seems.

Best,
-BT
25
Battle Reports / Re: Tau vs. Imperial Guard in "Guards and Gunlines" (1500, 4/18)
« Last post by Mabbz on April 28, 2018, 05:40:32 PM »
Woohoo! Great to see the Tau actually pulling off a decent win here. I was worried that this just wouldn't be a good edition for them.

Coldstars are awesome. I've been experimenting by going more gunline recently, but I just can't help loving their ability to more or less go anywhere and cripple anything. Combine that with their Character ability to hide until the right moment, and they really do become the perfect explanation of the Mont'ka. Mont'ka in the codex is usually described as being all about striking key targets, hard and fast, at exactly the right moment. Attack too early and they die unsupported, too late and the target has probably already done too much damage.

I have to admit, I'm a little suprised at how pro-kroot you are. I've usually found that they just die and flee too easily, and while I understand the need to block deep strikers and other fast units, I haven't found them all that good at it. Then again, most of my local opponents don't really deep strike all that much, so maybe it's just differences in local metas.

As for your own tale, I don't think that two Piranhas are really enough to deal with... anything really.  Other than board control, have you been liking them?  Haven't tried them yet, but I'm always open for suggestions!
Depends on what you use them for. They put out moderate firepower (about the same as a three man stealth team, whilst being cheaper), but they wont usually kill anything on their own. But they're small and non-threatening enough to avoid being a priority target for you're enemy, and their speed and toughness makes them very effective roadblocks. In my last game I had one hide behind some ruins for a few turns, only to suddenly park it in front of a incoming CC blob. My opponent couldn't go around it, was built mostly for anti-infantry so it couldn't easily go through it, and I'd taken out enough of their anti-tank that they couldn't kill it with the rest of their army. It basically saved my gun line from being disrupted long enough to let me wipe them out with mass shooting the next turn.

As far as suggestions go, I personally like them a lot. Most of my games these last few months have been 35 power level, yet I've happily spent 16 out of that 35 power level on a speed themed outrider detachment. It wasn't always effective, but having the slowest thing in the army be a devilfish team with 12" movement is a lot of fun.

I do have one unrelated question though. Have you ever use any of the Tidewall fortifications? I ask because I've been really tempted lately, especially since a fireblade in a droneport could be an interesting alternative to pathfinders, or even a good way to keep them alive...

EDIT. Quick point, you mentioned at one point that your Vior'la Commander used his stratagem to wipe out a Leman Russ. What stratagem was that? Because the Vior'la specific stratagem is infantry only.
26
Battle Reports / Re: Tau vs. Imperial Guard in "Guards and Gunlines" (1500, 4/18)
« Last post by Cammerz on April 28, 2018, 03:05:41 PM »
Certainly not as bad as you were suggesting then, those last few turns looked really quite comfortable.

When it comes to using all these stratagems would I be right in thinking that it's better to use them earlier in the battle when you still have a load of units?

I enjoyed the fluff, I suppose playing Imperial Guard every now and then let's you create loads of different characters for your own armies to defeat, you could even have different regiments for each battle.

Well done on the win, looking forward to the next report.

Job's a good un!
27
Battle Reports / Re: Tau vs. Imperial Guard in "Guards and Gunlines" (1500, 4/18)
« Last post by BigToof on April 28, 2018, 11:34:27 AM »
Hi All,
Thanks for the kind words!

Apologies about being a bit late, things have been a bit rough in 'Toof-land recently...

Oh, and just before I post the last of the rep... I've found out that Coldstars can't take CIB's, but that didn't make that much of a difference in the rep (thankfully).

Sorry for the delayed response. It's nice to see you sticking with tau at least a little bit longer. I really hope this went better for you than your last game, at least to prove that the Tau aren't totally awful this edition.

As far as the lists go, three coldstars with fusion blasters should deal with some of the tanks, the only question is whether they'll survive long enough to finish then off. At least you're better equipped than I was in my last game against IG. Two broadsides and two fusion piranhas really isn't enough to deal with a baneblade  :P

Thanks for the reply Mabbz.  Your words actually kept me trying out the Tau, and I think I found some evidence that I might be on the right track to something that works (as long as I don't fight Lady D again...).
As for your own tale, I don't think that two Piranhas are really enough to deal with... anything really.  Other than board control, have you been liking them?  Haven't tried them yet, but I'm always open for suggestions!

That's a lot of guns. I can't wait to see how this game goes, but judging by the ellipse, perhaps not so well.

Hi Deraj,
Thanks for the reply.  Yes, it was a LOT of guns, and it was rather frightful.  Hope you enjoy the rep, let me know what you think!

I read somewhere that Mortars are really good this edition, I guess your opponent has the same view.
I guess if you were able to wreck the tanks with your Coldstars then you'd just have to sit outside the Guardsmen's 24" range and take the squads out one at a time. He has got a lot of units though, maybe what you need are more guns, are squads of shield drones good or are they just cheap units allowing you to fill an Outrider detachment?

Hi Cammerz!

Mortars are good this edition if you play ITC as it lets you play with the victory points, are cheap and let you hit things that are behind LoS blockers (like in this game).
I definitely need more (or just better) guns.  And drones.  Shield Drones are just amazing as they have 4+ armor and a 5+ FNP roll, so they can potentially soak even the nastiest of hits for your valuable suits.  I really like them and they fit the fluff for Voxi pretty well.  The Outrider detachment just kind of works for them, as it gives me a CP, and well... the Farsight bonus doesn't really help most of the Tau...

And here's the rest of the rep!


-------------------------
Turn 1: Imperial Guard
-------------------------

Never before had Terrance Featherstone been so happy that Chimeras existed.  The signal was coming from a broken outpost that was full of craggy outcroppings that were full of sniper outpockets that held all manner of potential Officer killing Xenos weaponry.  Or at least, so it seemed like it.

So it was that he was nestled in his very safe tank on the very edge of the wide, but narrow column of tanks hoping that the Tau weren't here.

But, as was typical, there was a bark over the Comms.

"Contact!  Contact!  Xenos sighting!"

Terrance coughed and said as clearly as possible, "Everyone, keep your positions.  Manticores, shoot.  A lot.  Thank you."

There was a pause before the Artillery crew answered back, "Yes... sir."

Terrance waited for the few seconds before the ground shook with the impact and subsequent explosion of Storm-Eagle Rockets.

Riddle the ground until nothing can shoot back.  It was the Imperial way.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

After verifying that I don't have any deep-strikers, my opponent decides to push his entire army forwards.  The Lemun Russ Commanders move to the flanks to line up shots.  Two of the Sentinels, having scooted forwards, get within Heavy Flamer range.

Shooting is kind of brutal with my opponent using his tanks and artillery using the Cadian Strategem to produce a rather shocking number of wounds.  It nearly kills one of the Riptides, who barely survives just by the judicious use of Shield Drones.  The Heavy Flamers don't roll that well, and my Kroot screens survived.
Sadly though, enough of my drones have died (nearly all actually), which is enough for First Blood!


Picture Caption: OW... that's a painful First Blood...

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Turn 1: Tau
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Shas'ui Kai'nan howled over the comms.

Bang grabbed the nearly toppling Riptide and righted it.  Some people had all the bad luck.

"I thought..." coughed Kai'nan, "I thought these Battlesuits were the ones that didn't riddled with shots as soon as the battle began."

Bang shrugged, "Takes some getting used to.  The Ghostkeel may be hard to see, but I'll take armor plating over a stealth field any day.  Now, warm up your Nova Reactors and let's show 'em how real shooting is done!"

There was a flicker on his screen as Shi'va appeared, looking her usual dour self.  "Kor'va, link up with my suit.  One of the Heavy Tanks is out of cover, we need to take it out."

Bang smiled, fingers whipping across the terminal  to setup the Command and Control nodule, "No problem.  Just like old times, right?  That's a Lemun Russ, by the way, beautiful craftsmenship.  For the Imperium anyway.  I think it might be a Mars Alpha Pattern...  Sort of a shame to destroy it."

The Commander sighed and rolled her eyes, tapping her display that was automatically targeting the vulnerable points of the enemy vehicle, "Yes, beautiful for an alien tank about to blow us off our feet.  Now, let's give them something to worry about..."

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Time for payback!

We have a large LoS blocker in the middle, so I move to the left to block tank shots and then move the Fire Warriors to the right.
Markerlights go out, getting some Markerlight shots on most everything that I'm worried I might not be able to easily destroy (i.e. the right Sentinel and the Lemun Russ on the left).
The Commanders have moved out and Shi'va stays in the back.

Li'myr and our new Vior'la friend roast a Sentinel each (not too hard as they don't have a lot of wounds) and the Fire Warriors take out the Sentinel on the right (barely) and a few Guardsmen.  Branched Nova Charge goes off on Bang.

I then use the C&C Node from Shi'va (re-roll wounds for 1 CP and a turn of the Commander who is out of range of everyone doing nothing?  I'll take it!) on Bang and go to town on the Lemun Russ.  I knock it down to basically dead and then finish off with the other Riptide (who is on Stimms and has a few points back from the Automated Repair stratagem).

I also thin out a Guardsmen squad on the left thanks to SMS fire.


Picture Caption: Note to self: Use more Stratagems!

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Turn 2: Imperial Guard
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There was an explosion behind the Command Chimera, nearly knocking Terrance Featherstone off of his feet.  He ran to the back hatch and confirmed that indeed, the Lemun Russ on their flank was now a pile of rubble.  How had the Tau managed that from this distance?  No matter.  A few more volleys and even they would have to capitulate.  Either that or there wouldn't be anything left of them...

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The Guard continue to move up and return fire, taking down the badly hurt Riptide and trying to hurt Bang, but I've got my 3++ thanks to Branched Nova Charge, and am just fine though it does expend the last of the Shield Drones.  The Lemun Russ zooms to the center using orders, moving quite a bit faster than I expected...

I also lose the last of my Kroot on the left due to Orders and well, even Lasguns can be effective when a squad is pumping out 40-odd shots each...


Picture Caption: Well, it's a good thing I brought TWO Riptides...

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Turn 2: Tau
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Shas'nel Cal'nan nodded to himself.  Things were going all according to plan.  Thanks to the superior weaponry of the Bork'an, the enemy was within their reach and could slowly be whittled down.  Even the simple Pulse Rifle could be the means of defeating the sturdiest tank if used with precision.  All they needed was patience and to absolutely keep their positions.  Nothing would...

"This is Shas'O Vior'la Li'myr of the Farsight Eclaves.  The time is nigh!  The Wild Blade calls!  MONT'KA!"

There was a pause amongst the assembled Tau as the veteran Enclave Commander roared into the sky, falling deep into the enemy backfield.

The confusion amongst the comms was audible, and Cal'nan tried to keep order.
"This is Shas'nel Cal'nan.  Belay that order.  I am the leader of the..."

"Sorry, can't hear you," said the newcomer Vior'la Saum'ka.  "Must be the comms...  For the Greater Good!  Mont'ka!"

The violet Battlesuit leapt forwards, following Li'myr in this near suicidal charge.

Cal'nan was beside himself, but then gasped when he saw his own Commander Shi'va take flight.

"Apologies, Shas'nel," said Shi'va, "But I can't let those two idiots get themselves killed for nothing.  I respectfully request support fire.  Did you hear that, Bang?"

Bang nodded, "You got it, Shi'va.  Hey you alien scum!  Take a look at my Greater Goods!"

The Riptide hummed as the Nova Reactor flipped into overdrive and a massive gout of Heavy Burst Cannon roared across the battlefield.

Shas'nel Cal'nan shook his head.  How had things unraveled so quickly?

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My opponent is a bit shocked when I declare MONT'KA.

All three Commanders zoom up 40" and park next to tanks.
Shi'va flies to the left and the two others fly to the Center.
Bang and everyone move up.

Shooting has the newcomer Commander show off with his Vior'la strategem, wiping out a Lemun Russ BY HIMSELF.  Li'myr settles with destroying a Manticore.  Shi'va also destroys a Manticore.  Bang puts the hurt on more Guardsmen, as does the Fire Warriors, who are now in triple tap range.

On the side, it's hard to tell who did more damage, but the Guardsmen are running a bit thin on the flanks now.


Picture Caption: MONT'KA!!!

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Turn 3: Imperial Guard
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There was a trio of thuds behind the Chimera.  At first, Terrance thought that they were artillery shells or something, but the crackle of tell-tale energy across his scanners told him something quite different.  The enemy had breached their front lines.  But how?  The Tau weren't supposed to be this fast!  Could his intelligence be off?

Before he had a chance to question things more, a pair of explosions told him all he needed to know.  The Tau were here and things were going to be quite dangerous.

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Shocked that well... their numbers have thinned a bit, the Guard consolidate towards the center, and shoot the pants off the Vior'la Commander.

They try to do some damage to Li'myr, but the old man is not having it taking basically no wounds.

Assault is attempted as well, but no damage is really done.


Picture Caption: To no one's surprise Crash bites the dust.

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Turn 3: Tau
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Shas'O Li'myr took a moment to confirm that the youngster Vior'la Commander wasn't dead before pushing away the horde of humans that had surrounded him, trying to stab at him with their rifle-knives.

He shook his head as he activated his Fusion Blades, twin lances of pure energy forming into deadly weapons as he swung them with precision timing, turning the nearest Guardsmen into ash as his fellows howled and fell away with fear filling their eyes.

Primitives. 

No wonder the Fifth Sphere had done so well if this was the extent of their enemies.  He frowned as another bombardment flew threw the air, a massive rocket turning into a cluster of explosions.  There was still another one of those ungainy weapons on the field.  And it had the audacity to let Li'myr know it's location.  Fair enough, he thought, as he warmed up his engines.  Better use of his time then.

----------------------------------------

I pull Li'myr out of assault and zoom him over to the last of the Manticores.
Shiva moves up to threaten the Command Chimera.

Fire Warriors and Kroot begin to move up with the Fireblade.

Shooting has more Guardsman fall and I almost take out the Manticore.
The Chimera proves a bit hard of a nut to crack, but both suits manage it.
The Psyker and Company Commander get out none the worse for wear though...


Picture Caption: Almost turning things around...

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Turn 4: Imperial Guard
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Shas'O Shi'va frowned as she watched the old human struggle out of the wrecked tank.  Her weapons targeted on the hunched figure, scanners running over the alien.  No weapons save for a simple pistol and staff.  Perhaps a non-combatant?

She snorted and turned back to the main fight, weathering another barrage of las-fire.

Which, in hindsight, was her mistake as Primaris Psyker Gideon Ortean opened his mind to the Warp.  There was a howling sound as crackling Warp-Lightning raced from his fingers, frying the Battlesuit in front of him.  The old man let go with a crackling laugh as the Xenos fell.  Purge the Alien.  Let it's own weakness be it's downfall...

-----------------------------------------

The Guard continue to consolidate, taking out Shi'va with a huge Smite (he periled for it...) and concentrated Lasgun fire.  However, it's getting to be a bit too late, as he's hemorrhaging so many Guardsmen, it's not looking good for the Imperium.


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Turn 4: Tau
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"Shi'va!"

Bang launched his Riptide forwards, spraying a massive rain of Burst Cannon fire that melted the line of Guardsmen around the fallen Commander.  He checked the suit and let go a sigh of relief when he noted that life-signs were still intact, but the suit's engines and weapons were down.  Shi'va wasn't going anywhere anytime soon.

"Bang," grunted Shi'va over the comms, "I'm alright.  Go and finish them off."

Kor'va nodded, "Yeah, what's the old Imperium saying... 'That's how we'll win. Not by fighting what we hate, by saving what we love.'"

There was a pause as Shi'va blushed and said, "That's a stupid saying."

"I think it must make sense in the original Gothic.  In any case," said Bang, warming up his Heavy Burst Cannon, "I have to show an old man his retirement gift."

----------------------------------------------------

Bang and Fire Warriors move up and shoot more Guardsmen.  Li'myr finishes off his Manticore.  Bang personally goes in and slaps the last wound off the Primaris!


Picture Caption: Vengeance for Shi'va!


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Turn 5: Imperial Guard
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I take some shots from the last of the Guard, but it's not looking good for the Imperium.


Picture Caption: Running out of time...


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Turn 5: Tau
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Li'myr and Bang put an end to the last of the Guard.


Picture Caption: I see your Laspistol and raise you a Heavy Burst Cannon!


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Result: TAU VICTORY!
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Post-Game Thoughts: FINALLY.

After the beatdown of last game, I reworked the Tau list and it feels much better.
Needs some fine tuning still as I struggled some against the IG list as it felt like I was more fragile than before, but maybe that's just the feeling that fighting the Guard gives you.  You can't beat them in numbers, that's for certain.
But... let's go over units:

1.  Coldstar Commanders
Yeah...  I love 'em.  I was a bit apprehensive before, but their 20"/40" move/advance just lets them surgically insert themselves and dissolve armor or heavy infantry with easy.  Plus, they can use stratagems like C&C that gives the Riptides re-roll wounds (SO KEY in this game), and they can be hard to reach for your opponents in the early game as they are Characters.  I liked the double Ion/ double Fusion suits as they gave me enough of a kick while letting me have some rate of fire if I want to go Infantry whittling, but I've found out that you can't take Ion with Coldstars...  So Quad Fusion we go!  Overall great units.
Grade: A

2.  Riptide
Taking two is still somewhat questionable, but 12" move and Heavy Burst Cannon is just so good.  With a buff from the Commander they are nearly unstoppable.  Also, the Branching Nova Charge is hella amazing.
Grade: A

3.  Fireblade
Not bad, but his aura is a bit small and felt kind of limited this game.  Still, he's an untargetable markerlight that hits on 2+ and a good Warlord that can sit in the backfield and keep farming CPs with the Puretide Chip.
Grade: B

4.  Fire Warriors
What can I say?  Triple tapping is fun and the ability to stay in my 21" sweet spot was pretty nice, but they didn't do all THAT much damage as they still have a mediocre BS and no AP on their weapons.  Just don't know how long they would last in a real gunfight...
Grade: B

5.  Pathfinders
I'm finding Markerlight more and more of an unnecessary commodity.  One hit is great, but you need FIVE to really do anything more meaningful.  As the Pathfinders have mediocre BS, you really either have to take a lot of the fragile guys or keep them hidden, which kind of makes them less useful.
Grade: C

6.  Shield Drones
I would have lost BOTH Riptides turn one without them.  Cheap and god-like resilient.  I would take more, but their less-than-stellar Morale is a big issue.
Grade: A-

7.  Kroot
Don't do much, but hella cheap and kept Heavy Flamers from being pushed into my face.  Love 'em.  Just wish they had better Leadership sometimes...
Grade: A-

So the list is shaping up.  I like the triple Commander build.  All three feel like they add a lot to the overall army.  The Bork'an Commander can buff the Riptide, the Vior'la Commander is just an unguided missile of suicidal backfield destruction and the Farsight Commander is a boss in close-combat.  I love the Riptide as well, but maybe just one?  Hard to tell if I can't take more drones.  The Kroot are also keepers.  As for the others?  I'm less set on them.  The Pathfinders, Fire Warriors and Fireblade are ok, but I'm not sure how good the 21" triple tap is for it's points.  Seems like a lot for a one-trick pony that falls on it's face if any of the units are lost or out of position.  I'm tempted to take something like Broadsides or Stealth suits for my anti-infantry, as I can feel the stirrings of the great Imperial Guard Horde a-coming...

Let me know how you thought the fight went, and any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

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Epilogue
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Shas'nel Cal'nan was pacing angrily as the remaining Riptide and Coldstar brought over the ruined Battlesuits.

"You two!" he barked, causing Li'myr and Bang to halt in mid-stride.  Even though the Fireblade was dwarfed by the two enormous machines, Cal'nan showed no sign of letting up.  "How dare you undermine my command!"

Li'myr snorted, "Your command was going to get us all killed!  Perhaps if you listened less to the Ethereal-damned device in your skull and more to your own instincts, you'd realize that I just saved us all!"

Cal'nan shook his head.  "Saved us?  From what?  A modicum of a force that the Imperium can throw our way with impunity?  Look at our losses.  Coldstars just don't just grow on trees!  Better for us to have quit the field than..."

"Quit.  The.  Field?"  growled Li'myr, "Just like the Bork'an to think of numbers than appreciate a hard-won victory.  No wonder you're not a Shas'O."

Cal'nan scowled and his hand went for his Pulse Rifle, but was stopped by the massive form of Kor'va sliding between the two.

"Get out of the way, boy," said Cal'nan, "I have a lesson to teach this traitor about respect."

Bang held up his hands, "Listen, Cal.  I understand.  You're mad.  We took some pretty bad hits, but...  Li'myr's right."

Both of the other Tau looked up at Bang with surprise.

Cal'nan frowned, "You're siding... with the Separatists?  Against me?  I thought we were friends!"

Kor'va nodded, "Uh... yeah...  We are...  But... This isn't an Imperial invasion.  They're getting hammered up there by whatever crazy Eldar that did a number on us.  All we have to do is move fast, get our ship repaired and find a window out of here."

Li'myr thought for a moment and then nodded as well, "The youngster's right.  Our time grows short and we need to work together if we want to survive.  Truce for the moment?"

Cal'nan frowned and nodded in assent, "Very well, Enclavist.  But know that our conversation isn't over by a long shot."

The two older Tau turned and left, leaving Bang to thankfully release the breath that he didn't realize he had been holding.  Things were maybe looking up after all?

"Well done."

Bang turned to see that odd Farsight Drone floating near him again.  "Voxi, right?  Uh, you... saw all that?"

The Drone floated forwards, getting a bit too close for comfort, "Quite right.  Li'myr can be handful when he's worked up.  Vior'la blood you know.  You'll make a fine Shas'O one day."

At that compliment, Bang brightened, "Do you really think so?"

"Oh, yes," Voxi said, floating closer and then whispering, "If you ever give any thought to joining the Enclaves, I'll be sure to put in a good word for you."

"Uh... thanks," said Kor'va not sure how to take an offer of sedition from an artificial intelligence, "I'll take that as a compliment.  Now, let's see how we can get off this rock..."
28
Battle Reports / Re: Tau vs. Imperial Guard in "Guards and Gunlines" (1500, 4/18)
« Last post by Cammerz on April 25, 2018, 07:14:37 PM »
I read somewhere that Mortars are really good this edition, I guess your opponent has the same view.
I guess if you were able to wreck the tanks with your Coldstars then you'd just have to sit outside the Guardsmen's 24" range and take the squads out one at a time. He has got a lot of units though, maybe what you need are more guns, are squads of shield drones good or are they just cheap units allowing you to fill an Outrider detachment?
29
Battle Reports / Re: Tau vs. Imperial Guard in "Guards and Gunlines" (1500, 4/18)
« Last post by Deraj on April 25, 2018, 04:51:14 PM »
That's a lot of guns. I can't wait to see how this game goes, but judging by the ellipse, perhaps not so well.
30
Battle Reports / Re: Tau vs. Imperial Guard in "Guards and Gunlines" (1500, 4/18)
« Last post by Mabbz on April 25, 2018, 04:16:36 PM »
Sorry for the delayed response. It's nice to see you sticking with tau at least a little bit longer. I really hope this went better for you than your last game, at least to prove that the Tau aren't totally awful this edition.

As far as the lists go, three coldstars with fusion blasters should deal with some of the tanks, the only question is whether they'll survive long enough to finish then off. At least you're better equipped than I was in my last game against IG. Two broadsides and two fusion piranhas really isn't enough to deal with a baneblade  :P
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