Sunday, September 29, 2013

Battle Report: Blood Angels vs Tau

I guess I should start off with the table and how bad my current terrain pieces are.

This is the battlefield, the books are hills and the white square are the bases of what will at some point be forest tiles. It is simple and it doesn't matter what side any one picks because it is all the same. There are three objectives, one in the center of the tree line and one on each of the hills in line with the trees.

Now for the armies, this is a father vs son battle where they are playing each others armies. The Scott (father) is play Tau and Austin (Son) is playing his father's Blood Angels. So here are the list.

Blood Angels - 500 (Austin)
Librarian w/ Fear of the Darkness and Wings of Sanguinius
Tactical Squad 1 (10 man) (broken into Combat Squad 1a and 1b) w/ Plasma gun and Heavy Bolter
Scout 1 (5 man) w/ 4 Sniper Rifles and Missile Launcher
Assault Marine 1 (5 man)

Tau - 500 (Scott)
Commander - Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Stimulant Injector, Vectored Retro-Thrusters and Shield Drone.
Body Guard (1 man) - Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Vectored Retro-Thrusters
Stealth Team (3 man) - 1 Fusion Blaster, and Shas'vre
Fire Warriors 1 (6 man) w/ Shas'ui
Fire Warriors 2 (6 man) w/ Shas'ui
Pathfinders (4 man) w/ Shas'ui

I don't have anything to say about these armies since I never actually played either one and the Blood Angels are different enough from my Dark Angels to give me pause in commenting.

Tau won the roll and took the deployment as their own.

Tau Deployment

 Fire Warriors 1 at the top followed by the Commander and Bodyguard, Fire Warriors 2 and finally the Pathfinders at the bottom.

Blood Angel Deployment

 Blood Angel Tactical 1a with the plasma gun at on the left followed by Tactical 2 with the Heavy Bolter and Librarian, and the Scout squad on the right.

Both the Pathfinders and Scouts redeploy towards the bottom objective.

Both the Stealth team and Assault squad sit in reserve for the start of the game. At this point I was puzzled by the fact that Austin matched his fathers deployment almost unit to unit. I hoped that he had a plan but and that he could seize the initiative since I didn't believe that the tree lines cover save was going to be of much use to him in the first turn. He didn't seize the initiative though and the Tau took their first movement.

Tau Turn 1 (0 - 0)

I found this the most unusual thing ever. I am used to the Tau sitting on the back line and taking pot shots at me.The Tau moved in the first turn, FW1&FW2 as well as the commander moved their 6 while the Pathfinders simply moved to the edge of the hill and then they all open fire. It was a good volley of fire for the Tau too.

Fire warriors 1 dropped 2 from Tactical 1a

While a combined volley from the Commander/Bodyguard and Fire Warriors 2 dropped 2 from Tactical 1b. The Pathfinders put 2 down on the Scouts and Pinned them for the time. Everyone made their Morale test as is expected for Space Marines.

Blood Angel Turn 1 (0 -0)
Movement was as expected, Tactical 1a and 1b moved their 6 while the Scouts sat on the hill. Now I will say that I made a mistake here and completely forgot about the scouts being pinned or some such. So when it was time for the Scouts to fire, 2 snipers shots and a Frag missile dropped on the pathfinders and they were splattered across the hill side. As for Tactical 1b, they dropped 2 Fire Warriors and their Morale held. Fire Warriors 1 also lost a man but held their ground. At the end of the turn the Blood Angels found themselves a point up with the scoring of First Blood.

Shooting looked a little like this.

Yeah there sits the template that was the doom of the poor pathfinders

Tau Turn 2 (0 - 1)

Turn 2 saw the landing of the stealth suits exactly where they were supposed to. Wish i could roll scatter dice like that.

It also saw the Commander moving to block for Fire Warriors 2.

Shooting was uneventful as only 1 member of Tactical 1a and Tactical 1b were lost to the Tau firepower.

It really does amaze me how many shots were fired and that only 2 Space Marines were lost.

Blood Angels Turn 2 (0 - 1)

If the deployment was the same then so shall turn 2, the Blood Angels Assault squad shows up and lands in nearly the same spot on the opposing side of the table and also land exactly were they wanted to. They only scattered an inch or so. Though the little scatter they did get put them very close to the Tau Commander of which Austin apparently had very little interest.

Tactical 1a also decided to take a stroll a little close to the top objective though while I have seen solo Space Marines last several turns before, I can honestly say never while within 15 inches of four Tau Fire Warriors.

 If you look real close you can just see Tactical 1, show that Space Marine truly Know No Fear. The shooting phase showed that under stress the Space Marines are capable of missing. Tactical 1a missed, Tactical 1b, the Scouts, the Assault squad and the Librarian dropping a Fear of the Darkness all on Fire Warriors 2 only saw 2 casualties and a passed Morale test. I can honestly say that this was the first time the Austin has used Deep Strike with anything and it not be a total wash for the unit in a turn or two.

All those shots and it only accounted for this. In truth I would have fired 4 bolt pistols and thrown a frag grenade with the Assault squad, while he only fired the bolts and they couldn't get a charge this turn due to Deep Strike.

Tau Turn 3 (0 - 1)

Tau turn 3 can be summarized like this, more Commander blocking and a bunch of Assault members dying, yet no failed Morale test. Only needed one picture to illustrate this one.

 This seems to be the theme for Scott at this point, block the Fire Warriors until the end of the game and jump on an objective. Seeing as he only had 2 scoring units I thought it was a pretty wise move and amazingly enough I never once had to tell him that he couldn't move through a friendly unit. 

Blood Angels Turn 3 (0 - 1)

The Blood Angel turn was a bit more entertaining than the Tau. Firstly the Assault troops ran away from the Tau Commander which puzzled me at first but then I realized that they had a better chance against Fire Warriors 1. Tactical 1b with the Librarian fell upon the center objective expanding the current lead to 4 point to 0 in the Blood Angels favor. Now I do want to say that we keep up with the current VP score in order to understand where we are in a game and to help us focus on what we need to do next. I found that if we didn't we would forget and ultimately lost the game because of it.

You can see on the right that Tactical 1b has the objective and that Fire Warriors 1 are very close to some very angry Assault Marines. This is the result.
Bolt pistol, Chain swords, Charge, Morale Loss , cut down while they ran, and 3" consolidation. It was over in moments. There was just not enough Overwatch left in the group do slow down the Marine who slew two fire warriors on the charge and not one marine was wounded.

Turn 4 & 5 (1 - 2)

Not allot happens at this point, Tactical 1b and the Assault squad get annihilated, by Fire Warriors 2 and the Commander. The Librarian runs for Line Breaker using Wings of Sanguinius as do the Tau Stealth suits while the Tau Commander and Fire Warriors 2 run for the center objective. It is at this point Austin realizes that Scouts are Scoring units and I roll for a 6th turn.

Turn 4, Librarian and his Wings

Turn 4, Librarians Line-breaker

Turn 6 

This is where it all changes. The Stealth Suits destroy the scouts removing the Blood Angels last Scoring unit while maintaining line-breaker.

Fire Warriors 2 finally sets foot (or hoof) on the center objective for 3 VP and the commander and his body guard put a large number of hits on the Blood Angel librarian. So in the end the battlefield looks a little like this.

So in the end the final score was Tau 5 and Blood Angels 1, though thinking about it with the Blood Angels completely destroyed it doesn't really matter. I found the game very fun to watch though slightly repetitive in the first two turns. Hopefully they both walked away with a better appreciation of each others armies or at least better knowledge of how they play.

As a note, this was the first battle report I have written up since second edition and I know for a fact that we messed up on a few things during the game or left them out all together. I am hoping that I can get the guys to write up a small post giving their views on the game and possibly something short on how/or if they would change the list they took as well as if they would have changed anything in the game. Maybe we can all learn a little something from what they may have to say.

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