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Author Topic: 6th Edition Tau vs Chaos (2000pts, 18/11) - Narrative - So it's quite long  (Read 1797 times)

Offline Cammerz

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Shas’O’Elsy’eir’Cam’r advanced softly along the abandoned Imperial street, or at least as softly as one can in a two and a half tonne Battlesuit. A few rotaa ago these streets had been occupied with locals however the red swirling skies and occasional outbreaks of unearthly howling and blood rain pointed very clearly to the gue’la forces of chaos currently being at work in this city. The ethereals had pointed out the obvious, the people of this world would be unable to advance the cause of the Greater Good and join the Empire if they were all to be killed or corrupted by these forces and so O’Cam’r’s cadre was being dispatched to seek and destroy the threat before it could exacerbate the situation any further.

The ethereals had established three locations of interest in close proximity to each other and had attached their representative Vre’Ukos to oversee the mission. O’Cam’r was unsure how these locations had been discovered or what the ethereal planned to do there but it was not his place to question.

Passing through a cloud of ash and smoke from a nearby Arbites precinct, O’Cam’r switched his view-screen between the feeds of the quartet of marker drones hovering at intervals around him and his bodyguard, taking in the bulky shape of the Sky Ray effortlessly manoeuvring around the buildings to his left and the team of Fire Warriors picking their way through the street beyond, advancing as a protective screen around the all-too visible form of Vre’Ukos who had declined the offer of urban-camouflaged combat armour in favour of his usual white and purple robes.

O’Cam’r tried but failed to raise the advance stealth team on comms, which wasn’t unusual, but whether due to the warp-altered atmospheric conditions or the Shas’Vre purposefully maintaining radio silence, O’Cam’r couldn’t tell, however he had no problems reaching the Shas’Ui of the cadre’s pathfinder team. A recent promotion, O’Cam’r could hear the pride and excitement in the young Shas’Ui’s voice as she was able to report that one of her snipers had obtained visual confirmation of large, red and gold armoured humanoids in the vicinity of one of the objectives.

Just what they needed, Chaos Space Marines.

The perfect location, the recent bloodshed from the civilians and their pitiful PDF protectors had successfully weakened the veil between the materium and the immaterium and the rituals were already proceeding beyond Khârn’s expectations. The World Eaters had already achieved the favour of the Daemon Prince Bonecleaver who bade the Astartes to retrace their steps, returning to the sites of each massacre since their planetfall where the warp was closest to breaking through so they could quickly amass a great daemon host to cleanse this world and unleash a torrent of Blood for the Blood God!

Khârn stood in the centre of the ring. Around him, chained to each other and kneeling in a wide circle, were eight of the false Emperor’s astropaths. Bonecleaver looked on as the Betrayer, screaming glories to the skull throne, swept the mighty axe Gorechild in a swift arc, taking all eight of the psyker’s heads from their shoulders in one long strike. Blood erupted from eight necks and spurted violently towards Khârn, but before it reached him it began to swirl around him as though caught in a hurricane, rising into the air and taking the form of an enormous winged monster. The Bloodthirster of Khorne bellowed with rage as it left the warp, adding to the bloodcurdling cries of the Astartes and Khârn, impatient as always, leapt into his Rhino transport and bade it drive forth to the next location.

So a friend of mine has moved back into the area and after more than a year without a game, we’ve had a couple in relatively quick succession. I think we’ve finally remembered most of the rules at this stage, in the first game I’d completely forgotten the Supporting Fire special rule and for most of that game I’d somehow been stuck with the misapprehension that Pulse Carbines were only Assault 1. As such, I didn’t bother recording the details of that one, this game however I decided to get back into the swing of things properly by making notes and writing a battle report.

A couple of notes before I kick it into gear, firstly I’m still playing 6th edition. I never got around to acquiring a 7th ed. rulebook and we’re both happy enough sticking with that for the foreseeable future (we might also manage a bit of 8th ed. fantasy while we’re at it). Secondly, I’m going to be doing this battle report predominantly in a narrative style. The play-by-play will also be included but I’m going to stick most of that in spoiler tags on the off-chance that there are people who’d rather just read the narrative without interruption.

Now onto the army lists:


O’Cam’r – Commander w. Plasma Rifle, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Shield Generator, Drone Controller, 2x Marker Drones, Neuroweb System Jammer (which I have forgotten in literally every game I’ve ever taken it), Iridium Armour
2x XV8 Bodyguards – Each has; 2x Missile Pods and 1x Marker Drone (with Commander)
Vre’Ukos – Ethereal w. Honour Blade, Homing Beacon
3x XV8 Crisis Suits – Each has; Missile Pod, Fusion Blaster, Bonding Knife Ritual
6x Stealth Battlesuits – Shas’Vre'Mal'caor, Bonding Knife Ritual, Counterfire Defence System
12x Fire Warriors – Shas’Ui, EMP Grenades, Bonding Knife Ritual
12x Fire Warriors – Shas’Ui, EMP Grenades, Bonding Knife Ritual
11x Fire Warriors – Pulse Carbines (with Ethereal)
10x Pathfinders – Shas’Ui'Tan, 3 Rail Rifles, Bonding Knife Ritual
6x Vespid Stingwings – Strain Leader
Hammerhead Gunship – Railgun, Submunition Rounds, SMS, 1x Seeker Missile, Sensor Spines, Blacksun Filter, Disruption Pod
Sky Ray – SMS, Disruption Pod, Sensor Spines, Blacksun Filter
3x XV88 Broadside Battlesuits – Bonding Knife Ritual, Target Locks

Chaos Daemons (with Chaos Space Marine allies)

Bloodthirster – Greater reward (Hellfire Gaze), Exalted Reward (Riftbringer)
10x Bloodletters – Bloodreaper, Greater Reward (Unbreakable Hide), Banner of Blood, Instrument of Chaos (with Skulltaker)
10x Bloodletters – Bloodreaper, Greater Reward (Hellfire Gaze), Banner of Blood, Instrument of Chaos
10x Bloodletters – Bloodreaper, Greater Reward (Corpulescense), Banner of Blood, Instrument of Chaos
10x Bloodletters – Bloodreaper, Greater Reward (Daemonic Resilience), Banner of Blood, Instrument of Chaos
6x Flesh Hounds
Bonecleaver – Daemon Prince of Khorne, Warp-forged Armour, Daemonic Flight, Greater Reward (Hellfire Gaze), Exalted Reward (Doubly Blessed; Soul Eater, Cleaving Strike)
Soul Grinder – Warp Gaze

Khârn the Betrayer
10x Khorne Berzerkers – Chainaxes, Power Fist, Gift of Chaos (Arcane Occulum) (with Khârn in Rhino)
Rhino – Daemonic Possession, Destroyer Blades
5x Chaos Space Marines

Mission – Big Guns Never Tire (3 objectives)
Battlefield – Dawn of War

In order to save a bit of time, I set up the terrain before my opponent arrived. Given my lack of actual scenery it’s predominantly composed of cardboard boxes, CD cases and books. The setup design was urban with most of the scenery representing buildings, a number of the boxes have ladders drawn on so units can move up and down easily. I wanted an impressive centrepiece so I included a large overpass 8.5” above the battlefield which could be accessed from both deployment zones. When it came to placing objectives I went first and decided to put one right in the centre of the overpass because I thought it’d be fun to fight up there. The other two went in opposite corners.

Warlord Traits
Commander – Through Unity, Devastation (Quickly forgotten, never used)
Skulltaker – Destroyer of Mortals (Hatred)

I set my army up first so I could generate an opening salvo and move my tanks around to benefit from jink+disruption before he got a chance to shoot anything. Two Fire warrior teams (including the one with the ethereal) set up on my left flank to make use of the building behind the wall in the early turns. My Sky Ray set up behind them with LoS to most of the battlefield. The Vespids deployed even further back to counter-attack anything that came to threaten my left flank. The commander and his team deployed behind a large piece of impassable terrain to perform some early J-S-J manoeuvres. My pathfinders and XV88s deployed on the buildings leading up to the overpass with clear lines of fire to pretty much everywhere. The XV8s, third Fire warrior team and Hammerhead deployed on my right flank, near the third objective. The stealthsuits went in reserve to outflank.

From my left-to-right, the forces of chaos deployed their Flesh Hounds, Chaos Space Marines (on objective 1), Soul Grinder, Bloodthirster, Rhino (carrying Khârn and the Berzerkers) and Bloodletters unit 2 deployed behind the rhino. Everything else was set to deep strike except the Daemon Prince who would be swooping on.

My opponent failed to seize the initiative.

The warp storm was getting considerably worse. O’Cam’r had rushed to establish the rest of his forces in defensive positions at the slightly panicked urgings of his pathfinders and communication was now all but impossible without electronic means as little could be heard over the ferocious roaring emanating from seemingly nowhere. Vre’Ukos and a couple of Fire teams had positioned themselves in the remains of a walled Imperial compound and the ethereal seemed to be calming the shas around him with a speech of some kind. A pity the rest of the cadre couldn’t hear it as the pathfinders were getting even more jumpy and there was still no word from the stealth team. O’Cam’r was just about to attempt some sort of calming speech when one of his linked drones located the source of their discomfort. An enormous creature, standing slightly taller than his own advanced Battlesuit but made almost doubly large by the huge bat-like wings emerging from its armoured torso. The roar of an unhealthy engine announced the arrival of a corrupted Chaos transport tank and several notifications in his sensor suite announced that his team’s marker drones had pinged the arrival of a vast daemon-machine walker hybrid.

“Shas’Ui, light up that monster, we need to focus fire on that greater daemon.”

The pathfinder Shas’Ui, clearly made aware that her commander was directing her team’s fire, refused to show that she was anything less than capable and deserving of her recent promotion and O’Cam’r’s sensors detected a flurry of additional markerlight designations and he could faintly see the clear trail of rail rifle shots through the dust, closely followed by larger trails erupting from the Broadside team’s heavy rail rifles and the final even larger Hammerhead railgun shot. These were quickly followed by a series of small plasma explosions from a number of smart missile systems and finally the crew of the Sky Ray decided to make use of a number of marker designations and a trio of seeker missiles flew across the battlefield, the smoke clearing just enough to see that the beast had vanished, back to the hellscape from whence it came.

“Shas’O, team two has secured objective three, crisis team advancing on enemy armour”, the Pathfinder Sha’Ui had fully recovered given the destruction of the greater daemon and she began fully embracing her role by updating her commander with a running commentary of the cadre’s right flank. O’Cam’r’s twin bodyguards unleashed a hail of missile fire against the enemy walker but to no obvious effect.

[spoiler]Tau turn 1

The Fire Warriors on the left flank advanced towards the building in front of them so in future turns they could target the chaos forces from the relative safety of its ramparts whilst those on the right flank moved forwards to take control of the nearest objective. The Crisis Battlesuit team moved towards the centre of the board in order to engage the chaos Rhino in turn two.
Lots of fire goes into the Bloodthirster and fortunately I am able to remove its final wound with a few seeker missiles. The Bloodthirster model is actually mine and having used it to great effect in the past I knew that it had to die as soon as possible. The Commander’s unit pours a bit of fire into the soul grinder but the missile pods don’t manage to cause any damage.
The assault phase consists of the Commander jumping back into cover and the Crisis team moving further forwards to just behind the barricades stretched across the middle of the board.

The lack of a mortal driver in his Rhino meant that the first moment when Khârn was made aware of the alien attack involved numerous explosions and a roar of unbridled rage as the mighty Bloodthirster was expelled backwards into the warp from whence it came. Leaping up to the firing step in the crew compartment, Khârn was the first to see the approaching Battlesuits. Whilst a mere mortal might quiver at the sight of the 3m tall mechanical walkers, Khârn was no coward and at his merest thought the daemonic presence in his transport growled and lunged towards the approaching constructs. The howl erupting from all around told him that the summoned daemons were also on the warpath.

The sky above the field of battle, as if sensing the carnage about to ensue, lit up like a blazing inferno and huge multi-coloured fireballs rained down upon the battlefield, one landing not far in front of Khârn and instantly immolated two of the small xeno soldiers. Khârn let out a harsh laugh which turned to an angry howl as the pathetic Bloodletters cowering behind his transport suddenly rushed forwards and stole his kill, the Battlesuits falling under a hail of blows from the hellblades.

[spoiler]Chaos turn 1
The Bloodletters on my right flank advance behind Khârn’s Rhino and, due to their Banner of Blood letting them charge 6+d6”, they fell upon and massacred my Crisis team. Admittedly I probably shouldn’t have advanced them so far forwards but I hadn’t realised that the daemons were in charge range when I did it. The Soul Grinder and Flesh Hounds also advanced over on the other side of the battlefield, the Soul Grinder’s attacks taking two Fire Warriors from team 1.

The roll on the Warp Storm table resulted in a Storm of Fire which successfully immolated two Fire Warriors from team 2 but didn’t affect anything else on the table.

Ui’Tan was grateful that she couldn’t hear the Battlesuit pilots, watching them die was bad enough. The pathfinder Shas’Ui didn’t need orders; she didn’t need to give her team orders. Without a word they targeted the daemons and the nearby Fire team wasted no time unleashing a storm of pulse fire that utterly annihilated the creatures of chaos. Flashes of blue from the far left of the battlefield told her that the commander and the other half of the cadre were working just as hard as her team was. The implacable walker closing in on the Tau lines was struck by a number of seeker missiles and an icon appearing on her heads-up-display announced that the last of the Sky Ray’s arsenal had been unleashed. It certainly looked as if the daemon was now lacking its massive claw.
But just when it looked like things were getting better, the warp storm calming down, the full onslaught began.

Khorne was not pleased, it wasn’t as if Skulltaker had ever actually seen him in a good mood but the reappearance of one of his Bloodthirsters had increased he rage to even more palpable levels. Peering through the weakened veil into the material realm, Skulltaker saw the mortal Khârn. He had done a decent enough job against the defenceless humans who fled and died in his wake, but now Khorne’s army needed a proper general. The mortal could never think to command the daemonic legions, and the Daemon Prince Bonecleaver had barely made an appearance, although to Skulltaker he was little more than a mortal himself, having acquired minor favour with the Blood God. No, this would take a true daemon.
Skulltaker marshalled his forces to him, resplendent in their ordered ranks, they marched out of the immaterium.

The first Ui’Tan noticed was the flying monster. Smaller than the first but looking no less terrifying, it swooped down towards the compound where she knew the ethereal was sheltering. She just managed to alert the commander before the air in front of her seemed to stretch and distend, and creatures of nightmare strode forth.

Khârn was enraged; first the pathetic little daemons had stolen his kill, and now another one had appeared and was trying to take command from him. Khârn booted the Rhino door open and leaped out towards the nearest foes, his baying comrades close at his heels. The daemon-infused tank, now relieved of its cargo, kicked into high gear, activated its destroyer blades and drove relentlessly forwards towards the biggest opponent it could see.

[spoiler]Tau turn 2

Movement secured Fire team 1 around the wall atop the building on my left flank whilst Fire team 2 on the far side of the field consolidated around objective 3, getting as many Tau as they could behind the wall. Yet again my tanks moved around somewhat to ensure a good jink save.

Shooting saw the pathfinder’s light up the Bloodletters that had just destroyed my Crisis team (and a rail rifle blew the skull out of one of them), the nearby Fire team 2 then used a few marker tokens to obliterate the rest of the squad. My Commander’s drones must have all hit the Soul Grinder again as I used the last of my seeker missiles, removing its Iron Claw. I’ve noted that some fire went into the Flesh Hounds, undoubtedly from Fire team 1. I haven’t however made mention of what my Hammerhead or Broadsides did this turn, so evidently not a lot, perhaps missing the Chaos Rhino.

Chaos turn 2

All of the reserves came in for my opponent, his Daemon Prince swooping in towards the Fire Warriors on my left flank (which for those not certain is where he’s flying, not jumping around low down). Bloodletters 1 (with Skulltaker) scatter slightly but ended up not far from my Commander and Sky Ray, Bloodletters 3 landed in front of the XV88s and Bloodletters 4 scattered and narrowly avoided the Flesh Hounds, who at this stage were adjacent to the wall, behind which was the ethereal and two Fire teams.

Khârn and his Berzerkers disembarked from their Rhino (which drove off towards the Hammerhead) and fired a few rounds into Fire team 2 as they advanced (killing three, although Khârn himself didn’t fire as my opponent fears Gets Hot just enough for him to never use the plasma pistol). The Flesh Hounds advanced closer to the Tau lines and then charged the Vespids, killing all but the Strain Leader who failed his morale check and buzzed off the table.

The warp was calm this turn, which was nice. The only other things worth mentioning were the Soul Grinder’s continuous trundle towards my cadre and the fact that all recently-arrived Bloodletter units used their run moves to spread out slightly.

Offline Cammerz

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Re: 6th Edition Tau vs Chaos (2000pts, 18/11) - Narrative - So it's quite long
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2015, 08:06:45 pm »
Her brief bout of revenge markerlighting complete, Ui’Tan’s commentary resumed inside O’Cam’r’s Battlesuit just in time for him to be made aware of the approaching airborne monstrous creature making a b-line for his Fire Warriors. Unfortunately that was not the only daemon to make a sudden appearance and O’Cam’r was forced to split his cadre’s fire throughout numerous targets instead of engaging and destroying individual high-profile daemons. Vre’Ukos’ Fire team retinue were able to gun down the massive canines that had just finished ripping through the Vespids whilst Fire team 1 frantically fired at the incoming missile of power armour and wings, to little obvious effect. For the first time in the engagement, O’Cam’r activated his own weaponry and added his own plasma and ion blasts to the missiles raining down on the nearest daemons from his bodyguards.

The renewed commentary announced that the XV88s had finally destroyed the Chaos transport and had begun work on the power-armoured former-occupants but the pathfinder Shas’Ui became suddenly more frantic before succumbing to total silence as it sounded like the enraged fanatical marines and bloodthirsty daemons began to charge the cadre on the right flank.

O’Cam’r was snapped from his tactical overview by a load crash as the Sky Ray over to his right suddenly made heavy contact with the ground, smoke and plasma-residue billowing from its hull. Almost immediately afterwards the displays from his linked marker drones began to fizzle out into blank screens as the nearest daemonic infantry engaged his own team. O’Cam’r fired into the daemons again, downing a couple before they were in amongst the Battlesuits. One of his bodyguards had the legs of her suit ripped off by unnaturally sharp, glossy black swords before O’Cam’r was able to intervene. He powered up his jet pack and came hurtling down upon a pair of assailants, crushing them beneath his feet as a third found itself knocked back into the warp by a backhand from his cyclic ion blaster.

Relieved to find himself now unengaged, the same could not be said for many of his cadre. The winged giant had landed on the rooftop occupied by Fire team 1 and to say they were struggling would be putting it well although to their credit, likely due to their proximity to the Aun’Vre, they did not falter. At a gentle urging, O’Cam’r was able to restart Ui’Tan’s commentary and to his horror he found that Fire team 2 had been wiped out and the Broadsides were also engaged. To make matters worse, a further unit of daemonic infantry had appeared near the massacre of his Fire Warriors.

[spoiler]Tau turn 3

Thank you target locks, one of my Broadsides exploded the Rhino while his comrades were able to pour their own firepower into Khârn’s Berzerkers, downing four. Fire team 3, using the ethereal’s Storm of Fire ability, wiped out the remaining two or three Flesh Hounds while Fire team 1 took a wound from the Daemon Prince. The only other note I have written down is that the commander killed a few Bloodletters, I can only presume from unit 4 who were the closest to him at the time (I’m writing this up about a week after the game so my memory isn’t perfect).

Chaos turn 3

And here things start to go badly. Pretty much everything moves up, the Daemon Prince landing on the roof behind Fire team 1. The roll of 12 on the Warp Storm table brought a new unit of 11 Bloodletters onto the table right next to my Hammerhead (hereafter known as Bloodletters 5) and the rest of the shooting phase consists of the Soul Grinder taking a wound away from an XV8 bodyguard and the 5 Chaos Space Marines deciding that maybe they could pick off a couple of Fire warriors from team 1 (fortunately for me, they couldn’t).

Then we get the assault phase.

Khârn and his Berzerkers kill Fire team 2 entirely (losing nobody to overwatch).
Skulltaker and his Bloodletters wreck the Sky Ray (I’m pretty sure the Bloodletters actually just sat back and watched Skulltaker deal with it on his own, which will have suited him just fine).
Bloodletters 3 charged the Broadsides who were assisted in overwatch by Ui’Tan’s pathfinders (2 ‘letters die on the way in). The XV88s then punch two daemons to death, taking only a single wound in return (although the daemons pass their instability check).
Bloodletters 4 charged my commander, losing two to overwatch, killing all four marker drones and the wounded bodyguard before being wiped out entirely in response.
Finally the Daemon Prince charged Fire team 1 but fortunately only killed one of them and, thanks in part to the ethereal’s leadership bubble, they remained locked in combat.

Ui’Tan led her pathfinder team higher onto the overpass above the battlefield, their job was to watch all enemy movements and they were now far too close for comfort. All of a sudden, the world went black, and silence fell. The sun wasn’t meant to set for a few more decs, so this must be the warp storm, somehow blotting out the bright young star. In this new, dark world, the bursts of pulse fire stood out brightly in the gloom. Now that the howling of the warp had vanished, Ui’Tan could hear the powerful engines of the Hammerhead manoeuvring out of sight, its built-in blacksun filter granting the pilot perfect vision which the pathfinders were sorely lacking.

The Hammerhead’s railgun suddenly unleashed a submunition across the battlefield beneath the overpass where her team was sitting and in the light of the blue explosion, Ui’Tan saw the most recent daemonic arrivals. Forsaking the markerlights, she bade her team unleash pulse rounds into the daemons, a number of them simply vanishing under the force of the barrage.

The daemons that had been hit by the submunition were then battered some more, O’Cam’r and his one remaining bodyguard bringing them down, as far as Ui’Tan could see, to three. Deep, maniacal laughter and the odd short scream from beyond the commander told Ui’Tan that the second giant daemon was still alive and clawing its way through Fire team 1, the fight appearing briefly as a silhouette when pulse fire from behind lit up, somewhere just beyond the first marines Ui’Tan had seen when setting up, not too long ago really but seeming like an age past.

Turning her attention back to the combat ensuing in front of her, the Broadsides seemed to be giving as good as they got, the blades of the daemons glancing off their enhanced armour as another couple of them were battered and crushed beneath the 88s’ smart missile pods and heavy feet.

Khorne was pleased, or angry, even for Skulltaker it was very difficult to tell. All he knew was that the black sky had taken on an aura of blood and rage. It flowed through him and the rest of the daemons, the Soul Grinder even killing a tau soldier with nothing more than a glance. Noticing that one of those aliens was dressed differently to the rest; bright, flowing robes and a clear air of superiority, Skulltaker roared a challenge and leapt in to engage, the cowardly alien leader backing away, almost pushing his own men in front of him.
Very well, thought Skulltaker, but they won’t protect you for long.

[spoiler]Tau turn 4

Nightfighting begins, and having failed to arrive the last two turns, my stealthsuits come in as well. I roll a 5 or a 6 and elect for them to arrive in the top left so they can harass those Marines on objective 1. The Hammerhead hovers up and lands atop the building beside objective 3, I’m not sure whether it’s within 3” at this point but I’m a bit busy dropping that lovely Str 6 pie plate on Skulltaker’s unit, killing five of them. The Commander and his bodyguard throw in a bit more fire bringing them down to just Skulltaker (on one wound) and two ‘letters.

The Stealthsuits take out a Chaos marine before jumping back and away from return fire. The pathfinders move so most of them are on the overpass itself and they all unload into unengaged Bloodletters 5, killing three of them. In the two combats, the Prince kills a further four Fire Warriors, taking no wounds in return, but thanks to Vre’Ukos’ Calm of Tides (stubborn), the survivors stay put. Meanwhile the Broadsides take out another two ‘letters from unit 3, taking no wounds in return but once more the daemons pass their instability check.

Chaos turn 4

The Soul Grinder looms ever closer, its Gaze of Wrath killing one of Fire team 3. The Warp Storm roll revealed Khorne’s Wrath which targeted both the pathfinders and my commander but fortunately for me, both attacks scattered and caused no damage.
Khârn and his Berzerkers attempt to join the Broadside-Bloodletter combat but fortunately don’t charge far enough. Whilst the XV88s are a little tied down, the pathfinders provide a bit of overwatch, removing a further two ‘zerkers leaving Khârn with only one friend.

Skulltaker and his pals charge Fire team 3, the ethereal of course declining a challenge. Fortune smiled upon me once more as the daemons whiff all their attacks somehow, Skulltaker hitting with one of his attacks and then rolling a 1 to wound. The XV88s win combat again but the daemons remain locked in combat, a situation Bonecleaver was beginning to sympathise with as he removes three more Fire Warriors but the lone Shas’Ui still refuses to leave.

The Hammerhead fired again, this submunition landing much closer to its origin than the previous shot, lighting up the area with blue plasma just enough for Ui’tan to direct a little more firepower, this time removing one of the two remaining monsters in power armour that had so brutally mown through Fire team 2. The Broadsides finally appeared to have vanquished the daemons engaging them, although at some point since the darkness had fallen one appeared to have been damaged or even killed, Ui’tan couldn’t quite tell.

A chill took hold of O’Cam’r as he realised the danger Vre’Ukos was in. He had advised against the ethereal’s attendance but once the Aun had made up their minds there was no swaying it. One of the small daemons had a blade seemingly wreathed in flames which swung in wide arcs, cutting through warriors and leaving them burning. Worse yet, the daemonic walker was looming up behind the smaller daemons, diminishing the chances he had to get the ethereal to safety. Just then, the winged monster landed in front of him, a blade several metres in length carving through O’Cam’r’s remaining bodyguard, the commander’s usually pinpoint shooting passing to the side of the daemon as it strode towards him.

Khârn the Betrayer advanced on the Battlesuits. These ones wouldn’t get away from him. Nobody would steal these kills, certainly not the pathetic daemons. The sky flashed green briefly and a pool of acid burst forth from the sky, pouring over his victims. No! Those are mine! The Gods won’t take those kills from me! And the Battlesuits still stood, the acid draining from them, bubbling the paint but leaving them for him. He broke into a run, a charge, missiles and blue techno-fire erupted and exploded around him. “BLOOD FOR THE…”

The first shot took him in the left heart. He felt it break through his armoured chest piece, burst the organ, and exit through his backpack. Stalled for but a moment, the second shot smashed through the right side of his helmet. And then there was darkness.

Skulltaker moved from blow to blow, striking down the tau, his blade passing through their armour like paper. The ground shook as the armoured bulk of the Soul Grinder joined in the combat. “FIGHT ME ETHEREAL”, the alien leader looked calm. Too calm. It looked at Skulltaker, looked him right in the eyes. “No.”

O’Cam’r got a glimpse of the last of Vre’Ukos’ retinue falling but could see no more as the mighty daemon blocked his view completely. He tried to raise his guns, his targeting systems activated once more, but a giant clawed hand wrapped itself around his Battlesuit’s head. The feedback stunning him into unconsciousness as the fingers closed.

[spoiler]Tau turn 5

I moved the Hammerhead a little further, if it had been contesting the objective it wasn’t any more. SMS fire and a submunition brought Bloodletters 5 down to two. The pathfinders finished off the last Berzerker, leaving Khârn alone and angry (not unusual). The stealthsuits repeated the J-S-J manoeuvre, killing a second marine, leaving three on objective 1.

One combat went my way, the Broadsides wounding the Bloodreaper (who had started on two wounds thanks to his greater reward), he failed to wound the XV88s and finally succumbed to warp instability. Note: I’m not sure exactly when one of the Broadsides died but it happened during one of the previous rounds of combat.

Three more members of Fire team 3 were mowed down by Skulltaker and co. Soulblaze killing a further one but they still stay locked in combat. Meanwhile the Daemon Prince finally turned around and killed the Shas’Ui who had been annoying him, finishing off Fire team 1.

Chaos turn 5

Khârn moved up to close with the now unengaged Broadside Battlesuits, the Daemon Prince performed a similar move towards the Commander.

The Warp Storm result was ‘Rot, Glorious Rot’ which scored four hits on the XV88s but failed to penetrate their 2+ armour. Khârn then charged but was mowed down by overwatch, predominantly from the pathfinders who hit with two of the three rail rifles. I’m not sure whether Khârn’s third wound had been lost previously or was also removed in this overwatch but regardless, he fell.

The Soul Grinder charged into Skulltaker’s combat with Vre’Ukos who once more refused the challenge. The daemons removed the last of the Fire Warriors, leaving only the ethereal who refused to flee.

Bonecleaver charged O’Cam’r and his bodyguard, killed the bodyguard and then caught the Commander when he failed his morale check and attempted to flee.

On a roll of a 1 (or possibly a 2), the game ended.

O’Cam’r awoke to find that the front of his Battlesuit had been opened. The sky had cleared somewhat and the sun was weakly shining through the smoke. The space in front of him seemed to distort and the Shas’O tried to blink away the effect, only for it to suddenly cease, replaced by an old and battered XV15 Battlesuit. The stealthsuit casually rested its burst cannon across its left shoulder as the right gauntlet removed the pilot’s helmet and O’Cam’r found himself staring into the face of the veteran scout Vre’Mal’caor. With the incapacitation of the Shas’O and his bodyguard, command had passed to the leader of the stealth team who had immediately ordered a tactical withdrawal of all remaining Tau units. The forces of chaos, now seriously depleted in number, had been forced to pull out of the area to lick their wounds which had lifted the warp storm and allowed the cadre to return to look for survivors.

“What about Vre’Ukos?”, “We couldn’t find the Aun’Vre, I have my team searching for the chaos forces while the dead and wounded are being evacuated. Contingent command are aware of the situation but I figured I’d wake you up and let you explain”. O’Cam’r grimaced and shook his head, trying to dispel the rest of the fatigue he suffered from the damage to his Battlesuit. “Thank you Shas’Vre”, either immune to the tone or simply ignoring it, Vre’Mal’caor replied “You’re welcome sir”.

So it didn’t go quite as planned. For one thing, neither of us went anywhere near objective 2, which is a shame because I’d hoped to have some glorious combat take place up there on the overpass, above the battlefield.

For another, that’s two games in a row my stealthsuits have refused to enter the board until turn 4 when reserves arrive automatically.

The final result was that the Chaos Daemons held objectives 1 and 3 (three CSMs on the former, two Bloodletters on the latter), I got First Blood for the Bloodthirster, he got Slay the Warlord for my Commander and we both picked up Linebreaker. So an overwhelming victory for my opponent, (although had we managed a sixth turn things might have gone a bit more my way, we agreed that my Hammerhead would have taken objective 3 without issue and my stealthsuits would hopefully have at least contested objective 1).

In the end, I think I had 20 models left on the table from a starting 75 (plus a wrecked Sky Ray), my opponent was down to 9.

Borrowing an aspect from BT’s battle reports, I’ll do a quick unit rundown:
Shas’O – Overall I think he did alright, I managed to forget the neuroweb jammer again but it likely wouldn’t have done much in this game. His unit’s four BS5 marker drones are very effective early game and the team can put out some solid firepower, especially when dealing with sub-MEQ armour.

Crisis Team – This went badly, but it was entirely my fault. If I’d held them back a little longer then I could have taken out the Rhino and maybe harassed the occupants on future turns, at the very least I might have kept his forces away from my right flank long enough for one more turn of shooting.

Stealth Team – Late, as usual, but I do love them. I might add a fusion blaster or two in future so I can take out a few more high-armour targets.

Ethereal – Storm of Fire early game followed by Tide of Calm can help take down units and then lock them in combat so I can keep combat units away from the rest of my army for a while. A useful unit buff, and I have ‘Leadership Bubble’ painted on the model in Tau script for obvious reasons.

Fire Warriors – The one unit that didn’t have EMP grenades was the one which could maybe have made use of them. I might consider more smaller units in future instead of a few large ones, then when some get held up in combat the others can still shoot things.

Pathfinders – This was a good game for them, they get a lot of credit for markerlighting the Bloodthirster on turn one and when the rail rifles hit, they did serious damage to things.

Vespids – Did very little, probably the weakest of my units. Maybe if I’d had them up against marines then things would’ve worked better, perhaps jumping the wall and dealing with the five guys on objective one.

Hammerhead – Worked very well with markerlight support, but I find without at least one token it misses far too often. Still, this was a very good unit.

Sky Ray – Nice for supplying seeker missiles, but from turn two onwards it had very little to do besides distraction. I might consider replacing it with an Ionhead in future.

Broadside team – Did a stellar job taking out the Bloodthirster and the 2+ armour is a godsend when tied up in combat against hellblades. I’m a big fan of the heavy rail rifles and the target locks are a cheap, useful tool.

Offline Mabbz

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Re: 6th Edition Tau vs Chaos (2000pts, 18/11) - Narrative - So it's quite long
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2015, 12:09:39 am »
A good read. It would have been nice to have had a few more pictures, but if the battle was a week ago I imagine you wouldn't have been able to remember it well enough. I'm curious now about the fate of Aun'Vre, but with Skulltaker and the soul grinder in combat with him, I don't hold much hope for his survival.

Anyways, great job! I look forward to seeing more of these in the future.

Offline BigToof

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Re: 6th Edition Tau vs Chaos (2000pts, 18/11) - Narrative - So it's quite long
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2015, 03:06:47 am »
This was amazing Cammerz!
I really appreciate the effort you put into it, and I HAVE to award this karma.

Really want to see more!

BigToof Points:

Cammerz: 8
Waaaghpower: 1
The Man They Call Jayne: 3
Mabbz: 6
Archon Sharrek: 3

Offline Cammerz

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Re: 6th Edition Tau vs Chaos (2000pts, 18/11) - Narrative - So it's quite long
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2015, 01:15:00 pm »
Thanks for the responses guys, I'm really glad you enjoyed it.

Mabbz - I'll work on getting a few more pictures in the next one,

BT - Cheers for the karma,

No idea when my next battle will be but I'll certainly write it up when it comes to it (and hopefully it won't take me as long to actually start writing next time so I'll remember more of it).