Battle Report (Tau Empire vs Raptors)

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O’kua’s HUD pulsed red, the words INCOMING FIRE pulsed on his display. He banked his Crisis Suit away from the stream of fiery tracers originating from the debris field. The fire was deadly accurate and the suit shuddered as a brace of impacts struck it’s right shoulder assembly, denting the armour but otherwise leaving the suit and O’kua unharmed. Scans of the vicinity of the crashed human ship continued to be dumbfounded by the enemies skill at concealment, without clear targets the T’au were forced to adopt unconventional tactics to force these so-called space marines to reveal themselves. Return fire from the rest of his team obliterated the cover from which the enemy had so recently opened up, blue flames melting metal to glowing slag. Another fusilade caught two of O’kua’s team mid-plasma recharge cycle, both suits crumpled to the ground under the weight of high calibre explosive rounds leaving nought but fragments of scorched armour. They were everywhere and they were nowhere. It was like fighting mists and shadows. O’Kua signalled his team to withdraw, it was clear that they were dancing to the space marines tune. No more! These elite human troops were their equal in skill and this kind of fight would end in needless casualties. If you couldn’t outfox your foe then you had to outfight them. As unrefined as it was, sometimes an all out assault was the lesser evil. T’au units converged on the debris field to eradicate the stubborn space marines who refused to accept the inevitable triumph of the greater good.

Mission: Front Line Warfare

Points: 1750 +/-

Deployment: Dawn of War

+++ Raptors +++

++ Spearhead Detachment +1CP (Imperium – Space Marines) ++

+ HQ +

Captain: Chainsword, Storm bolter, Teeth of Terra

Captain: Storm bolter, Thunder hammer

+ Dedicated Transport +

Razorback: Twin assault cannon

Razorback: Twin assault cannon

Razorback: Twin Lascannon

+ Heavy Support +

Devastator Squad
Space Marine Sergeant: Boltgun
4x Space Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Grav-cannon and grav-amp

Devastator Squad
Space Marine Sergeant: Boltgun
4x Space Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Grav-cannon and grav-amp

Devastator Squad
Space Marine Sergeant: Bolt pistol
4x Space Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Lascannon

++ Vanguard Detachment +1CP (Imperium – Space Marines) ++

+ Fast Attack +

Assault Squad: Jump Pack
4x Space Marine
Space Marine Sergeant: Eviscerator

Bike Squad
Biker Sergeant: Combi-flamer, Twin boltgun
2x Space Marine Biker w/Bolt Pistol: 2x Twin boltgun
Space Marine Biker w/Special Weapon: Flamer, Twin boltgun
Space Marine Biker w/Special Weapon: Flamer, Twin boltgun

+ HQ +

Captain on Bike: Chainsword, Storm shield, The Burning Blade, Twin boltgun

+ Elites +

Aggressor Squad: 2x Aggressor, Aggressor Sergeant, Auto Boltstorm Gauntlets/Fragstorm Grenade Launcher

Contemptor Dreadnought: Combi-bolter, Dreadnought combat weapon, Kheres pattern assault cannon

Sternguard Veteran Squad
4x Space Marine Veteran: Combi-melta

Veteran Sergeant: Bolt pistol, Combi-melta

 

++ Spearhead Detachment +1CP (T’au Empire) ++

+ HQ +

Commander in XV86 Coldstar Battlesuit: High-output burst cannon, Missile pod, Shield generator, Stimulant injector

+ Troops +

Strike Team
Fire Warrior Shas’ui: Pulse rifle
4x Fire Warrior w/ Pulse Rifle

Strike Team
Fire Warrior Shas’ui: Pulse rifle
4x Fire Warrior w/ Pulse Rifle

+ Heavy Support +

XV107 R’varna Battlesuit: Advanced targeting system, Multi-tracker, Stimulant injector

XV88 Broadside Battlesuits
. Broadside Shas’vre: 2x High-yield missile pod, 2x Smart missile system, Counterfire defence system

XV88 Broadside Battlesuits
. Broadside Shas’vre: 2x High-yield missile pod, 2x Smart missile system, Counterfire defence system

+ Flyer +

AX-5-2 Barracuda: 2x Long-barelled burst cannon, Ion cannon, 2x Missile pod

+ Elites +

XV95 Ghostkeel Battlesuit: 2x Fusion blaster, Counterfire defence system, Cyclic ion raker, 2x MV5 Stealth Drone, Stimulant injector

XV95 Ghostkeel Battlesuit: 2x Fusion blaster, Counterfire defence system, Cyclic ion raker, 2x MV5 Stealth Drone, Stimulant injector

Hello and welcome to another battle report! Finally getting to use the T’au again after a 6 month gap! This was William’s first game of 40k since then, and opted to go for a small Battlesuit heavy list in order to bring something different to last time. Here we have an awesome board set up by the SN Team, sporting fantastic terrain made by the amazing Wargames Terrain Factory. They offer fantastic scenery, as can be seen by this Strike Cruiser crash site. The four scattered crates around the table from the crash hold munitions valuable to the Raptors, and will be acting as objectives for this game, with the T’au forces attempting to obtain them in order to deny the Marines from gaining any more weaponry. And with all of that, let’s get this show on the road!
Steven begins by deploying two of his Razorbacks on the left side of one of the crates in his deployment zone. In each, a 5 man Devastator squad armed with Grav Cannons, an excellent choice against a Battlesuit army, able to shred potential multiple wounds off at a time.
And on the far right of the board we see a unit of Bikers, followed closely by Steven’s Warlord; a Captain with the Burning Blade and a Storm Shield. The engines of the Raptor’s bikes hum through the battlefield, echoing throughout the ruinous remains of the crash site, distorting their exact whereabouts, as they prepare to ride up the flank of the T’au forces.
And on the right side of the crate, Steven places his third unit of Devastators, each armed with mighty Lascannons. These weapons are sure to put the hurt on the Battlesuits further, and provide Steven with some much needed heavy strength support from afar, looking to take down whichever target they lock on to.
William then begins deploying, and chooses to place his XV107 R’Varna Battlesuit right next to the objective in his deployment. This forgeworld model is scary to say the least, its Pulse Submunitions Cannons surveying the battlefield for any potential targets. William then sets up his Coldstar Commander, as well as one of the Broadsides to the right of the R’Varna, all within range of each other to support themselves in the Overwatch.
Finally, the Ghostkeels close up William’s deployment, as they deploy ahead of the army, in hopes of getting into better firing positions, and to attract some of the attention from Steven, allowing him to get more firing in with his heavy hitting suits.
With both players set up, they roll off to see who starts, and Steven manages to win the roll off! Without hesitation, William picks up SN’s new “I just stole” dice, and rolls, hoping to steal the initiative! Unfortunately for him, the SN logo comes up, which means that it’s a fail! This is just a prototype die of what is soon to be coming, hence the missing T on it. A fun little spin to rolling for initiative, as we all know that only one outcome matters there!
Right before the game starts, Steven spends 1 Command Point and uses the Raven Guard stratagem, Strike From The Shadows, allowing him to set up his Primaris Aggressors behind the enemy lines, located near William’s Fire Warriors. He then also decides to pay for an extra relic, in which he chooses The Teeth of Terra for one of his Captains, which brings him down to just 3 Command Points at the start of the game.
Turn 1 (Raptors)

The faint humming of the engines soon turn to a roar, as the bikers rev their engines and move out from their locations, the Ghostkeels picking up on their coordinates, relaying the information back to the Commander. Steven kicks his turn off by moving his bikers flat out, as nothing is in range of them for now.

Turn 1 (Raptors)

Steven’s Razorbacks all move forward, hoping to soon deploy the Grav Teams in order to begin firing at the Battlesuits. As the Razorbacks trek along the battlefield, a sound, far up from the sky grows louder and louder. The Commander and neighbouring Battlesuits look up to see a unit of 5 Raptors Assault Marines, as they crash down onto the battlefield, Chainswords revved and ready to tear into the armoured plating of the T’au suits.

Turn 1 (Raptors)

The Raptors Contemptor Dreadnought fires at the MV5 Stealth Drones, hoping to remove their Stealth Field bonus that they incur onto the Ghostkeel. Since the Contemptor moved up, it get a -2 when firing at the Drones, allowing the Dreadnought to kill off just 1 of them. The Razorback then takes aim at the Ghostkeel, but fails to hit the suit as Steven was rolling with a -3 modifier due to having moved.

Turn 1 (Raptors)

The left Razorback takes aim at the other two Stealth Drones, the Twin Assault Cannons marking their targets, and unleashing a flurry of lead which takes down both Drones, giving Steven First Blood, as well as removing the Stealth Field from the right Ghostkeel. The second Razorback then shoots at the Ghostkeel, and despite landing 5 hits, was unable to wound it.

Turn 1 (Raptors)

Next up, the Aggressors fire at the two 5 man Fire Warrior Squads. Steven decides to split fire, firing the Auto Boltstorm Gauntlets at one unit, and the Fragstorm Grenade Launchers at the other unit. Since they haven’t moved, they benefit from the Fire Storm rule, allowing them to fire twice since they have not moved. The Aggressors pour a never-ending amount of fire into the Fire Warriors, however some impressive rolling from William sees 1 Fire Warrior surviving from one unit, and 2 surviving from the other unit.

Turn 1 (Raptors)

Onto the assault phase, Steven attempts to charge his Assault Squad into the R’Varna. The R’Varna, Commander, and Broadside all Overwatch at the Assault Marines due to there being no other targets this turn, and with their combined firepower, manage to kill off 4 of the Marines, before Steven fails his charge roll.

Turn 1 (Raptors)

Next, the Aggressors attempt to multi-charge the two units of Fire Warriors, however, the three Fire Warriors take revenge on their fallen comrades, killing off one of the Aggressors. Steven then failed his charge roll. Not the best of starts by Pardo

Turn 1 (T’au)

At the start of T’au Turn 1, William chooses to use Master of War, in which he then chose Kauyon, allowing all models to re-roll all failed to hits within 6 inches of the Commander. Following that, the R’Varna Nova Charges its Pulse Submunitions Cannons, taking a mortal wound, which is not saved by the Stimulant Injector. With re-rolls to determine the number of shots as well as re-rolls to hits make the R’Varna extremely scary this turn!

Turn 1 (T’au)

The Commander signals to the Broadside to move closer to the other Broadside, in order to attempt to take down the Razorbacks or at least slow down their advance.

Turn 1 (T’au)

Both Ghostkeels reposition, making room for the Barracuda to move soar in overhead. Two silhouettes faze in and out of sight of the Contemptor, the Ghostkeels almost seeming to materialize in front of the Dreadnought. At the same time, the sound of the Barracuda’s engine booms through the skies as it enters the fray!

Turn 1 (T’au)

The Tau Commander turns to face the Assault Marine Sergeant, raising his High-Yield Burst Cannon at the Marine, firing the multi-barreled pulse weapon at the remaining man. The pulse weaponry pierces through the Marine’s armour, as he stumbles over, using his Eviscerator to prop himself back up, his exposed body through his armour showing that he sustained some injury. Like a hunter lining up the killing blow, the Missile Pod mounted on the Commander scans the now panting Sergeant, before the missiles fire out towards the enemy, the missile’s self guided system targeting the exposed spacing in the Marine’s armour, exploding on impact, and tearing a huge hole in the Marine, as he drops to his knees, the life drained from his eyes.

Turn 1 (T’au)

The Commander quickly turns his attention back to the main Raptor forces, letting out a quick command that the Contemptor must be brought down. The R’Varna takes aim, the sound of the gigantic pulse weapons charging up echoing, before it unleashes a torrent of fire at the Contemptor Dreadnought. William manages to get a total of 15 shots thanks to being able to re-roll any dice determining his amount of shots from his 6d3. However, despite having 15 shots, with re-rolls, the slightly low Strength of the weapon can’t seem to quite punch through the thick armoured plates of the Dreadnought, only wounding with 2 shots, for a total of 6 wounds.

Turn 1 (T’au)

Both Broadsides attempt to follow suite with the rest of the force, by shooting at one of the Razorback. By killing it off, it will slow down Steven’s forces slightly, giving William more time to pick apart Steven’s army. Both Broadsides release a flurry of both High-Yield Missiles, as well as Smart Missiles. All together, they manage to deal 8 wounds to the Razordback, heavily hindering its ability to shoot.

Turn 1 (T’au)

Due to the unfortunate circumstance in which the Contemptor survived the R’Varna shooting, both Ghostkeels decide to fire at the Dreadnought too, in order to remove another threat from the board. However, due to some very unlucky rolling, the Contemptor survives with just 1 wound remaining. All in all, it was not the best round of shooting, as the Contemptor should have been wiped out. Unfortunately, the Barracuda did not manage to damage the Contemptor either with some amazing rolling by Pardo.

Turn 2 (Raptors)

Steven begins his turn by moving his Razorbacks up further, looking to deploy the Devastators next turn and begin dishing out lots of D3 wound shots onto the Broadsides.

Turn 2 (Raptors)

The worse for wear Contemptor Dreadnought moves yet again, getting back out of range from one of the Ghostkeels, before once again shooting at the remaining Drone to get rid of it. The Assault Cannon begins to spin as it fires up, before shooting at the one remaining Stealth Drone, killing it almost immediately, thus weakening the Ghostkeels substantially, a smart move by Steven.

Turn 2 (Raptors)

The bike squad along with the Captain continue to move around the right flank, looking to incapacitate the R’Varna, alleviating some pressure from the remainder of the Raptors force. As they closed in on the R’Varna’s location, they begin to shoot, bolter rounds firing in the direction of the hulking suit. Unfortunately, due to the high speed of the bikes, they aren’t able to focus on the R’Varna’s frame, failing to wound the Riptide Battlesuit.

Turn 2 (Raptors)

The hatches of the Razorback slam onto the ground, lifting up debris and dust in the surrounding area. Out from it, step 5 Sternguard Veterans, armed with Combi-Meltas, with their eyes set on removing one of the Ghostkeels. The Veterans move forward, and opt to fire their Meltas at the Ghostkeel only, 4 of them hitting, the energetic beams of heat melting right through the Ghostkeel’s lightweight plating, the suit shutting down as the heat emanating from the damaged Keel burning away at more of the electronics, turning into a slump on the ground. Another unit down for the Raptors!

Turn 2 (Raptors)

The Devastators Sergeant tracks the exact coordinates of the flyer, with all four Marines aiming down their scopes, waiting eagerly for their Sergeant’s command. The moment the flyer comes into sight, the Marines begin to charge up the Lascannons, and finally, fire them in the direction of the Barracuda. However, the shots are mistimed, and the shots miss the Barracuda.

Turn 2 (Raptors)

Next, the Twin Assault Cannons on the Razorbacks, take aim at the exposed Broadside, looking to remove some more wounds from it in order to make the Grav Devastator’s jobs much easier. Some unlucky rolls from Steven, and some fortunate rolling from William sees the Broadside taking just 2 wounds.

Turn 2 (Raptors)

The Contemptor Dreadnought lunges into the fray, charging straight ahead into the Ghostkeel, looking to tie him up in combat, where the Contemptor excels. The heavy pounding sound of the walker echoed through the ruins of the crash site, alerting the Ghostkeel of their location. It turns it’s attention to where the attacker is coming from, and as the walker closes in on the Keel’s proximity. It charges up the Cyclic Ion Raker, as well as the cores on the back mounted Fusion Blasters. Waiting for the most opportune moment, the Ghostkeel unleashes a torrent of fusion and ion fire, which brings the terrifying Raptors walker down right before it manages to engage the T’au Battlesuit in combat. Units are falling for either side, and this is beginning to look like a tight game!

Turn 2 (T’au)

Understanding that the Lascannon Squad of Devastators poses a massive threat to the flyer, it chooses them to be its next target. The pilot turns to their facing, moving right past the Sternguard and Razorback. The Barracuda fires all of its weaponry at the 5 man Squad, killing off 3 of the Lascannon wielding Marines.

Turn 2 (T’au)

The Tau Commander turns his facing in anticipation of the bikers coming up their flank, looking to meet them with heavy fire, in order to eradicate their existence.

Turn 2 (T’au)

On the Commander’s order, both himself and the Broadside fire at the bikes, the Missile Pods on both battlesuits finding their mark with deadly precision, ending in the death of 4 Space Marine bikers.

Turn 2 (T’au)

Meanwhile, the other Broadside continues its firefight with the Razorbacks, finally destroying the first one. Some unlucky rolling from Steven then sees him rolling two 1’s, killing off the Devastator Sergeant and one of the Grav Devastators. But with them out now and in range of the Broadside, it won’t be long before they begin doing what they’re meant to do; kill high priority targets!

Turn 2 (T’au)

The R’Varna looks on at the now larger number of enemies, with the Sterguard Veterans on its left side, and the Grav Devastators on its right. William chooses to split fire, shooting each of its Pulse Submunitions Cannons at the Devastators and the Sternguard, killing off two of each of them. To finish off William’s turn, the Bike Squad roll for morale, but fail, despite the reroll from They Shall Know No Fear, killing off one more biker.

Turn 3 (Raptors)

Steven disembarks the second Grav Devastator Squad, moving them forward towards what is left of the T’au army. Both of the Devastator Squads fire at the R’Varna, William’s most threatening unit on the board. The mass amount of firepower from these Devastator Squads overwhelms the Riptide Battlesuit, killing it in just one round of shooting. Slowly, this is starting to get out of hand!

Turn 3 (Raptors)

The Raptors Captain sets his sights on the T’au Commander, in-built Bolters at the ready. Pardo shoots at the Commander, managing to remove one wound from him!

Turn 3 (Raptors)

The remaining 3 Sternguard now look to finish off the second Ghostkeel. Having killed one already, Steven is confident that this will turn out the same. Despite only having 3 models left in the unit, Steven makes all three hits, followed by all three wounds. This is enough to deal massive amounts of damage to the Ghostkeel, seeing another of William’s units wiped off the board, and Steven being one step closer to victory!

Turn 3 (Raptors)

The Raptors Captain tightens his grip on his Relic Chainsword, bolting in the direction of the Broadside, the serrated teeth on the melee weapon ready to tear through the T’au armour. The roaring sound of the Captain’s weapon alerts the Broadside, aiming towards the Captain. Locking on to the location of the Marine charging towards him, he fires his High-Yield and Smart Missile Systems at the oncoming enemy, multiple missiles landing and finishing off the Captain. Wow!

Turn 3 (T’au)

With minimum units left on the board for William, he needed to make some good decisions as to the placement of everything he had left. The Barracuda flies up behind the two Razorbacks, keeping him still in range of the Devastators, but also getting him into a position where the Grav Devastators can be shot at from.

Turn 3 (T’au)

The T’au Commander moves over the Captain, his advanced battlesuit moving him at blistering speed, in order to disorient the Bike Captain. The Captain notices the sound of the suits jet pack boosters nearing him, and, in what seems like a split second of extreme dexterity, manages to dodge the oncoming Commander, as he zooms past him. The Commander then turns on the spot when he arrives at his destination, and instantaneously targets the Captain. The Commander fires both Burst Cannon and Missile Pod at the Marine, however, once again, the Captain’s skill on his Bike allows him to dodge most of the oncoming fire, with just the Burst Cannon tearing through some of his Power Armour and causing 1 wound, as he clenches his teeth and narrows his vision down to just the Commander; his target is acquired!

Turn 3 (T’au)

The Broadside closest to the Bike Captain also fires at him, looking to alleviate the pressure from his very own Commander. The fast moving Captain, a hard target to lock onto, had now switched his tactic to moving blisteringly fast straight towards the Commander. With this information, the Broadside fires its Missiles to Pardo’s Warlord, dealing yet another 2 wounds to him, but still not enough to make him fall!

Turn 3 (T’au)

The Barracuda’s placement allows it to target both the Lascannon Devastators, as well as the closest Razorback. Firing the Burst Cannons to the Devastator sees the final one drop, whilst the Missile Pods and Ion Cannon manage to deal 2 more wounds to the Razorback.

Turn 4 (Raptors)

Coming onto Steven’s Turn 4, knowing he has the upper hand, he decides to go in for the final blow, in order to close the game off. The Raptors surround the remaining T’au units in what is looking to be incredibly painful!

Turn 4 (Raptors)

The Captain now zeros in on the Commander, coming to close proximity to the T’au Leader. Once again, the built-in Bolter begins to fire again, peppering the Commander’s suit, exposing parts of his armour which the Captain notices. A tough smirk on his face, he moves full throttle at the Commander. He charges in, The Burning Blade searing through the exposed Battlesuit core, killing the Commander in one fell swoop. Epic!

Turn 4 (Raptors)

The unit of Grav Devastators haul their heavy weaponry at the Broadside, and fire at the already wounded suit. With incredible ease due to their D3 wounds each and multiple shots, they kill the massive suit; another kill for the Raptors!

Turn 4 (Raptors)

The final Razorback aims its Twin Assault Cannon at the final Battlesuit on the board; the already wounded Broadside. The mass amount of shots bog down the suit, piercing through their thin plates of armour, the suit shutting down as its cores begin to short-circuit. The Razorback is able to kill the second Broadside.

Turn 4 (Raptors)

With just the Barracuda left on the table, Steven automatically wins the game, as well as having captured 3 of the 4 objectives regardless! What a game!

William: That was certainly an experience! After not having played for around half a year, I feel honoured to have been asked by the SN Team to return to the studio in order to join them for another report. The aim for this list was to take as few infantry models as possible, and focus on running a Battlesuit heavy list. It didn’t work out quite as planned, as I got overwhelmed by the sheer number of units that Steven brought to the game, but I can’t say that it wasn’t enjoyable! The SN Team always manage to make the entire experience of playing with them a memorable one, taking away all forms of competitiveness, and focusing on a fun, story driven narrative game, where there is more focus on telling a story than there is on taking a win. My current track record at SN is 0-2, but this will change, I tell you! And at the very least if it doesn’t change, it will still be a day of fun nonetheless! Keep it up SN!
Pardo: what a thematic game that was even though it finished quicker than expected it was great fun and loved how my army played out. Kudos to William for keeping to his promise “to himself” lol and taking the smallest army he could field. Those units do hit hard but when they are outnumbered by 3/1 in guns then it creates a big problem! Going first also proved critical for me as it meant I could move forward and get my shorter ranged guns into range. William not having any marker lights for meant he was hitting most stuff on 5+ due to my Ravenguard awesome chapter tactic when more than 12” away which didn’t help at all. All in all a great game as always against a great player. Can’t wait for the next one.

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