Can't find what you're looking for?

This topic might exist in our archive - Try Here

Author Topic: 6th Edition Tau vs Chaos (2000pts, 13/01) - Saving Aun'Vre'Ukos  (Read 1574 times)

Offline Cammerz

  • Shas'Vre
  • ******
  • Posts: 1255
  • Karma 10
    • View Profile
6th Edition Tau vs Chaos (2000pts, 13/01) - Saving Aun'Vre'Ukos
« on: January 13, 2016, 10:17:21 PM »
“Aun’La, given the situation I cannot advise going forth with this plan. The forces of chaos are not negotiators; they are sadistic killers and cannot be trusted under any circumstances”.

“Nonsense Shas’O, your scouts have already established that Aun’Vre’Ukos is still alive and we have captured one of their own, they will have no reason not to participate in an exchange of hostages. Besides, I have already sent out a communications drone establishing our intent. Anyway, with Vre’Ukos currently indisposed I have overall command of this coalition”.

It was clear to Shas’O’Elsy’eir’Cam’r that there would be getting through to the young ethereal despite the fact that the ‘communications drone’ had been designed purely as a diversion to distract the invaders from the stealth reconnaissance mission, not to mention the fact that it had been shot down. Aun’La’D was new to all of this, like too many others of his caste he insisted on dressing in bright robes with no armour or force field and assumed that he knew everything there was to know about warfare having read a few books. He had arrived with the latest reinforcements and immediately began issuing orders to all and sundry, orders which of course were obeyed in a heartbeat regardless of how trivial or outright stupid they were.

Vre’Mal’caor and his stealth team had at least managed to track down the chaos stronghold, an abandoned Imperial fortress near the empty starport. There was still no sign of the indigenous gue’la population, which disquieted O’Cam’r more than he would freely admit. At least the Earth caste had successfully managed to immobilise their own hostage’s armour, as far as his Pathfinder Shas’Ui’s report led him to believe, the monster had single-handedly torn its way through dozens of Fire warriors and multiple direct rail rifle impacts had only just brought it down, and then only superficially.

There was definitely something to this alien. Bonecleaver wasn’t sure what, but it displayed a remarkable resilience despite its slender frame. Not physical resilience, it’s bones had snapped about as easy as a pathetic mortal human, and not even a soldier, like an elderly scholar, the sort Bonecleaver had shown disdain for all those millennia ago before he had even joined the ranks of the Astartes, much less ascended to the pinnacle of existence as he had now. This alien, this tau, it hadn’t said as much as a word the whole time. Not a grunt of pain, not even a flinch. It was currently splayed below him, chained to the stone altar that had been hewn from the rockrete floor, a mighty 8-pointed star decorated with skulls, blood and devotional symbols of almighty Khorne. The tau had being lying there for over a day now but still hadn’t become possessed, or even descended into madness, at least as far as Bonecleaver could tell. Maybe they were soulless, that was always a possibility, although it didn’t seem to have the disturbing aura that tended to accompany untouchables.

Bonecleaver would have continued to ponder this train of thought when he noticed his minions running around hurriedly. Typical mortal behaviour, when you have eternity to play with you don’t need to rush. Not that they’d ever get to experience something like eternity.

Happy New Year everyone! I proudly present to you all the first battle report of 2016. I’ve brought the Tau back out to answer the question which I was asked last year, “What’s happened to Vre’Ukos?”

In order to continue the narrative my friend and I once more selected the mission and scenery to best represent the situation our characters had found themselves in, once more the non-narrative will be kept in spoiler tags for those only interested in the story;

Mission: The Emperor’s Will (one objective in each deployment zone, the one in his was Aun’Vre’Ukos, the one in mine was Khârn the Betrayer)
Battlefield: Hammer and Anvil (Short table edges)

Army lists;

Tau –
Shas’O’Cam’r – Commander w. Plasma Rifle, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Shield Generator, Drone Controller, Neuroweb System Jammer, Iridium Armour, 2x Marker Drones
2x Bodyguards w. 2 Missile Pods and a Marker Drone each
Aun’La’D – Ethereal w. 2 Equalisers
3x XV8 Crisis Battlesuits w. Fusion Blaster and Missile Pod each
6x Stealth Battlesuits w. Counterfire Defence System, Bonding Knife Ritual and Shas’Vre’Mal’caor
8x Fire Warriors w. Pulse Rifles, EMP Grenades, Bonding Knife Ritual and Shas’Ui
8x Fire Warriors w. Pulse Rifles, EMP Grenades, Bonding Knife Ritual and Shas’Ui
8x Fire Warriors w. Pulse Rifles, EMP Grenades, Bonding Knife Ritual and Shas’Ui
11x Fire Warriors w. Pulse Carbines and Bonding Knife Ritual (accompany Aun’La’D)
Piranha w. Fusion Blaster, Disruption Pod, Sensor Spines, 1 Seeker Missile ad Blacksun Filter
10x Pathfinders w. 3 Rail Rifles, Bonding Knife Ritual and Shas’Ui’Tan
3x XV88 Broadside Battlesuits w. Heavy Rail Rifles, Target Locks and Bonding Knife Ritual
Hammerhead Gunship w. Railgun, Submunition Rounds, Smart Missile System, 1 Seeker Missile, Sensor Spines, Disruption Pod and Blacksun Filter
Hammerhead Gunship w. Ion Cannon, Smart Missile System, 1 Seeker Missile, Sensor Spines, Disruption Pod and Blacksun Filter

Chaos Space Marines;
Bonecleaver – Daemon Prince w. Daemon of Khorne, Wings, Power Armour, Gift of Mutation (Multiple Boons – Shield of Force [Shrouded], Mechanoid [+1 armour save (2+)])
Invillius Karrow – Chaos Lord w. Terminator Armour, Pair of Lightning Claws, Sigil of Corruption, Mark of Khorne, Gift of Mutation (Crystalline Body [+1 Toughness (5)])
4x Terminators w. Pairs of Lightning Claws, Mark of Khorne, Icon of Wrath, Gift of Mutation (Temporal Distortion [Fleet]) – (with Karrow)
5x Terminators w. Chain Fists, 1 Reaper Autocannon, Mark of Khorne, Icon of Wrath, Gift of Mutation (Voice of Horus [Stubborn])
10x Khorne Berzerkers w. Chain Axes, Power Fist, Icon of Wrath, Gift of Mutation (Temporal Distortion [Fleet])
Chaos Rhino w. Daemonic Possession, Destroyer Blades, Additional Combi-Bolter, Dirge Caster
10x Khorne Berzerkers w. Chain Axes, Power Fist, Icon of Wrath, Gift of Mutation (Masochism [Feel No Pain])
Chaos Rhino w. Daemonic Possession, Destroyer Blades, Additional Combi-Bolter, Dirge Caster
5x Havocs w. 4 Lascannons
Land Raider w. Dirge Caster

Warlord Traits:
O’Cam’r – Predator of the Skies (one use only, O’Cam’r and his unit get Skyfire for one shooting phase)
Invillius Karrow – Black Crusader (dislikes Space Marines, which is good to know but not that relevant in this particular situation)

The battlefield setup had the chaos-inhabited fortifications at one end, the tau-occupied city at the other end and a large open area containing a large number of craters but not very much else. I made sure there was a large mesa (or hardback book) on one flank so it would at least be possible to advance behind cover if required.

My opponent won the roll-off and set up first, deploying his Terminator Lord and retinue in the Land Raider front and centre. This was flanked on each side by a Rhino brimming with Berzerkers. The low bastion on his left flank housed the lascannon-wielding Havocs while Bonecleaver perched high on the tall bastion to his right. Clearly planning to go all-out and table me, he puts nothing near his own objective. His other Terminator team (the 5-man team) stays in reserve, ready to deep strike.

Making the most of the large gap between our forces, I deploy further back, predominantly castling in my back-right corner (bottom-left on the maps). There’s a ruin there with a Hammerhead on either side (ion to the left, rail to the right), I put one fire team on the roof, one out in front of the railhead and keep the other two behind the ruin to keep an eye on Khârn (one of these two is the 11-man team accompanying La’D). My Pathfinders find a perch at the centre of my board-edge and my Battlesuits sit over to my left with the piranha (XV8s and piranha further forward, O’Cam’r sitting back with the ‘88s). My Stealthsuits outflank.

I successfully steal the initiative.

O’Cam’r had at least managed to convince La’D to bring along an honour guard, at the time he hadn’t felt the need to elaborate on the size he had in mind and by the time the ethereal had arrived at the meeting point, the rest of the hunter cadre was already in position. The invaders would attack at the first opportunity but this gave the tau a distinct advantage, a simple Kauyon manoeuvre using the hostage as the bait. The invaders would abandon their defensible location in a wild rush straight across the open ground between the city and the fortress, no cover save for a few craters and ruined walls left over from the initial chaos incursion.

Vre’Mal’caor had already vanished to outflank the soon-to-be oncoming chaos forces, Ui’Tan’s pathfinders had picked a raised position and her commentary on the enemy’s disposition was already flooding the comms network. Meanwhile over on the far flank, the fire teams were under strict instructions to keep as many people in combat armour between the ethereal and the oncoming storm as possible. Now all they needed to do was draw the enemy out before the young Aun’La could start giving orders.

“To your vehicles! Move! The enemy are at our gates, let us kill them!” At Lord Karrow’s command the World Eaters poured out of the bunkers, their blood already up and screamed blessings to the Blood God on their lips. His ancient comrades in Terminator armour had seen battle for centuries and moved with quiet purpose, but Karrow could tell that their grinning masks matched the expressions on the faces concealed beneath. The aliens were doing all the hard work for them. The Terminators split, half stepping through a portal into the warp to take the xenos from behind whilst Karrow’s chosen four joined him in their mighty Land Raider. Before the driver could even throw the vehicle into gear, a shadow appeared before them, silent, its figure distorted by some magic or technology and flash of blue light sent warning lights and klaxons sounding around the dark interior. This was immediately drowned out by an almighty explosion and some angry roaring to their right.

With a heavy growl, the Land Raider lumbered forwards, lascannons blazing and the figure before it exploded in blue light as whatever had been there was vaporised. To the left, a rhino belched out smoke as it lurched forwards and a heavy thump to the right signalled that the daemon had finally stopped toying with its new pet and had left its perch.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

“All hostiles inbound Shas’O, just as you predicted”, Shas’Ui’Tan had been on active service for several tau’cyr now but she felt that she’d never be able to accurately forecast a foe as erratic and volatile as these. They must really want their warrior back.

The enemy were still out of effective markerlight range so Ui’Tan could only sit back and observe the heroic Battlesuit pilots as they jumped back and forth, firing missiles and blasts of fusion energy at the huge winged monster in front of them which seemed to shrug off all attempts to damage it. The Broadsides were pouring smart missiles and heavy rail rifle shots into the marines beyond, shredding them like paper whilst the massive tank-mounted railgun adjusted its aim and pulverised the massive tracked warmachine creating a new crater in the already heavily-damaged landscape.

The roar of an unhealthy engine dragged her attention back to where it should have been and she inwardly admonished herself for becoming distracted. The commander was relying on her vantage point and running commentary.

“Shas’O, they’ve nearly engaged the ethereal! And that creature is…”

“I can see it Shas’Ui!”

The winged monstrosity had leapt up to the crisis team and snatched one from the air as it attempted to evade. The others did their best to jump-kick the creature but could do nothing to prevent the Battlesuit from being impaled by a massive claw and slammed into the ground, broken.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
"Should fatherhood ever creep up on me, I hope that I will do a much better job than the Emperor." - Unknown Facebook commenter, 018.M3

Offline Cammerz

  • Shas'Vre
  • ******
  • Posts: 1255
  • Karma 10
    • View Profile
Re: 6th Edition Tau vs Chaos (2000pts, 13/01) - Saving Aun'Vre'Ukos
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2016, 10:25:52 PM »
Aun’La’D had gone through several emotions in the past dec, he’d had a perfect plan to exchange hostages and recover Vre’Ukos but the Shas just had to have their little war didn’t they. His honour guard, which turned out to be four fire teams and two Hammerhead gunships, had fortified a ruined building at the edge of a city and were setting up for a firefight more than a discussion. They hadn’t even brought along an earth caste engineer to mobilise the hostage who was now stuck here unable to move or even speak. Then, before he was even given the chance to open communications with the leaders of the Astartes, O’Cam’r insisted on showing off the firepower of his Battlesuits.

La’D was very close to ordering a total cease fire, which would be instantly obeyed by all tau, when he noticed the daemon through the empty doorframe in front of him. It stood almost as tall as a Riptide and boasted massive wings and a huge blade which seemed to float and wave unnaturally like a banner but was clearly solid and very sharp when it tore clean through two Crisis suits before the warp creature leapt up and out of his line of sight.

He was then drawn to the large, red, blocky vehicle that was growling towards him. And he suddenly found the right words.

“Attack, shoot that thing, destroy it!”

Fortunately for the young ethereal, that order had already been given on the command channel which he hadn’t been told about and the fire teams surrounding him had already sprung into action. Reacting to the marker pings in their head-up-displays, one team had completely disabled the incoming vehicle with their EMP grenades whilst the other three had each targeted a different door and the overwhelming pulse fire shredded the power-armoured invaders.

Unfortunately for him, one of the grenades had bounced off the wall and, unbeknownst to all concerned, come to a rest at the feet of Khârn the Betrayer.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

O’Cam’r recognised this daemon. In their previous encounter it had caused considerable damage to his Battlesuit and himself as an extension of that. And now it wanted to do the same again. He was briefly enveloped in shadow as its huge form passed over him and his bodyguards nobly stepped forward to engage the monstrous creature. The daemonic blade passed effortlessly through its first target and the Battlesuit slid almost silently in two. The second bodyguard was not so lucky as thick claws grasped his armoured cockpit and slowly crushed it, the claws finding their target inside and the screams of the impaled tau veteran were mercifully cut short.

Not again. Not this time. O’Cam’r activated his jet pack and pushed it hard. His Iridium-armoured Battlesuit burst into the sky, but not quite fast enough. Quick as lightning, the daemon wrapped a huge fist around one of O’Cam’r’s legs and pulled sharply downwards. The commander hit the ground hard, lying on his back looking up at the face of evil. Then the cloven hoof descended upon the cockpit and drove it inwards.

Vre’Mal’caor’s Battlesuit HUD flickered and the cadre command icon appeared in the bottom-right corner and the young Pathfinder Shas’Ui’s panicked voice started flooding his ears. Temporarily pushing it from his mind, he directed his burst cannon towards the rapidly approaching large, violent men in power armour and his team joined him in ventilating two of them before the last bound into them. The would-be target of the enraged marine leapt back at the last moment and Vre’Mal’caor swung his bulky cannon into its leg, knocking the marine down to one knee. Two or three more burst cannons slammed into it, bringing the angry, red man down onto his face. A heavy hoof to the back of his helmet silenced the chaos rantings.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

“Target, engage with maximum prejudice, don’t waste time with your carbines, light it up for the Broadsides”. Shas’Ui’Tan didn’t know what else to do, she was angry, she was scared, but she couldn’t let that show. Her team needed her now more than ever. Her own markerlight beam shone on the beast that had hurt, maybe even killed her commander and her HUD registered the marker icons as they were fired. The three riflemen were all down on one knee, extreme-velocity projectiles tearing through the creature’s armour, forcing it back under the sheer force. Then the markers blinked red as they were picked up by the Broadsides who unleashed a thick cloud of smart missiles into the building releasing a huge cloud of dust, rubble and daemonic ichor, their heavy rail rifles only finding their mark because it had already been acquired.

When the dust settled, only a small pile of flattened debris remained, the daemon was gone.

“Shas’Ui, report”, Vre’Mal’caor’s voice helped centre her as the adrenaline coursed through her veins.

“Shas’Vre, the big creature has been destroyed. There’s a heavily armoured figure heading our way but it’s taking a lot of fire so it won’t last too long. I’m more worried by the gunships, they’ve both gone silent”.

“Alright, I trust you to deal with it, I’m going after Vre’Ukos”.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

I can handle this, I can handle this, everything’s going to be fine.

“One target remaining, bring it down”,

The rifleman nodded, sighted and squeezed the trigger. The projectile entered through the bulky Astartes’ helmet and an instant later it exited from its back along with a high pressure burst of blood and bone fragments.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Aun’La’D felt relieved, Vre’Ukos had been recovered and the treacherous and, quite frankly dangerous invaders had been driven from a major fortified location and his report made it very clear that he was personally responsible for the victory. Well, it couldn’t be Shas’O’Cam’r’s victory, he didn’t even see the end of it and as far as La’D saw, most of the fighting took place around him and his honour guard. He was sure that the other reports from the Pathfinder and Stealth team leaders would completely support his. Maybe he’d even get a promotion out of this, nobody had ever risen more than one rank at a time but there’s a first time for everything, and AunElsy’eir’Vre’D did have a certain ring to it.

The latest medical update had even said that O’Cam’r would probably pull through, albeit with heavy cybernetic augmentation. As much as he didn’t like the old relic, La’D was glad that the commander had survived, maybe the Shas’O would pay more attention to his plans in future instead of jumping at the first chance to kill something like a kroot.

To top it all off, if O’Cam’r did survive, and then perhaps he’d take the blame for the hostage mysteriously going missing. It was his Shas who were supposed to be guarding it after all. La’D tried and failed to forget the sight of so much blue splattered on the walls, floor and, somehow, the ceiling. They couldn’t possibly blame that on him, could they?

You know, I quite like Hammer and Anvil deployment. It’ll take them longer to reach me and they’ve got fewer avenues of attack so they’re forced into my firelanes.

Final Result – Tau Victory!
Primary Objectives:
Tau – 1
Chaos – 0
Secondary Objectives:
Tau – 3 (First Blood, Slay the Warlord, Linebreaker)
Chaos – 1 (Slay the Warlord)

I’ll freely admit that I got lucky a few times. Stealing the initiative meant that I could run jink-shenanigans before he could start shooting and stall his advance significantly before it began. Then there was the deep strike mishap, well, that could have been very messy if they’d survived my round of shooting and the overwatch.

Once more shamelessly ‘borrowing’ BT’s post-battle unit rundown:

Shas’O – The BS5 Marker drones are great but the commander and his bodyguards didn’t do too well this game. He’s got a heavy points cost but most wargear was completely irrelevant in this game. I might look into changing the loadout for the three suits in future games, perhaps switching the missile pods out for plasma rifles so I can better deal with MEQ+

Ethereal – Despite the fluff I’ve written for him, he was really useful where it counted. Storm of Fire worked beautifully when I was taking out those Berzerkers. Maybe I could lose the close combat weapons, he’ll never be accepting any challenges so they’re a minor point sink but it’s not too much to worry about.

Crisis Battlesuits – They hit hard, then they die. Usually. This time they just died. Shield Generators would amp up their survivability, or maybe Vectored retro thrusters to keep them away from combat. It’s a question of whether an upgrade would be cost-efficient.

Stealth Battlesuits – Didn’t have much to do this game but what they did went well. I could put a couple of fusion blasters in there I suppose. I really like using these guys.

Fire Warriors – Splitting two 12-man teams into three 8-man teams worked well. If one team got trapped in combat then it wouldn’t last as long and then I’d still have 16 rifles to play with. Moving the EMP grenades from the carbineers to the riflemen was also a good idea. Now with three teams that can threaten vehicles I’m more likely to have them where I need them and then I have more guns to mop up the passengers.

Pathfinders – Where would I be without these guys? Rail Rifles are beautiful and markerlights are quite simply a requirement. In the past I’ve split them in two; one unit of pure marker-carbines and a four-man team with three rail rifles. I’m not using all my Fast Attack slots and I think they worked well together, rail rifles that could make use of markerlights would be brutal, especially within 15”.

Piranha – I had a few points left and thought I’d give it a shot. It was unlucky with its cover save turn 1 and a turn 1 fusion blaster could work really well. Has anyone had much experience using these? Would they work better in teams?

Broadside Battlesuits – Really useful, the target locks weren’t needed this game but I’ll definitely keep them on. Many people use the High-yield Missile Pods but I love the Heavy Rail Rifles too much to kick them out. I need enemy vehicles (especially transports) to die early and I trust these guys to do the job with their higher range, higher strength and AP1.

Hammerheads – This was my first time running both variants together and they both performed alright. The issue with the Railhead is that if I miss that’s it. The Ionhead’s ability to drop a Str 8, AP3 Pieplate almost anywhere on the battlefield is great but I had scatter issues and I didn’t have any Markerlights positioned to deny cover to the Havocs. I’ll keep these two together for the forseeable future, I think they’ll both perform better than the Sky Ray.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading. Comments and critiques are appreciated.
"Should fatherhood ever creep up on me, I hope that I will do a much better job than the Emperor." - Unknown Facebook commenter, 018.M3