Battle Report: Purge the Alien!

The field (or back garden) of battle
Another Battle Report!  That's right, this being my week off I managed to get down to a GW store (not my regular one) and drop in for a game.  After battling my way through the tube with a 2,000pt army on my back I managed to arrive and was paired up with a Tau player (not my usual 40K opponent Headologist.  We rolled for a mission and decided on the Purge the Alien, a very simple smash mission.  Despite my reservations about playing 2,000pts on a 4'x4' table that was what we agreed upon in the end.

Deployment was simple in that it was as much as I could do to get everything crammed into my 4'x1' area, so there wasn't really any meaningful tactics on either side, we both seemed content on a firing line.


A good job Tau don't have tonnes of shooty blast weapons.
Oh no, wait ...
Anyway - as soon as the game began it became clear that it was going to be an Alamo-style shootout, with very little movement (hence my giving up taking detailed notes).  Turn One saw a barrage of railgun shots which smashed into my artillery guns, as well as infiltrated Stealthsuits burst-cannoning one squad into fleeing off the board.  Not a good start.  Each subsequent turn saw a ceaseless barrage of smart missiles, railguns and burst cannons which eventually began to take their toll on the tanks and artillery guns which were evidently priority targets.

I retaliated each turn with a huge barrage of Earthshaker and mortar fire - but due to a frankly staggering prevalence of invulnerable saves, shield drones and disrupter fields it was Turn Three before I managed to kill something that wasn't an ordinary Fire Warrior or a Drone, when one of my lascannon teams took out a Devilfish.

Me advancing out in firing lines
I tried to break the stalemate by moving forward a la Palladian doctrine, in nice neat firing lines, and to be fair I did manage to get close enough to badly maul a Stealthsuit squad - but the large number of vehicles (and the fact that I haven't yet finished painting my meltaguns) meant that my men were sitting ducks and got mown down like fresh wheat.

Two interesting parts of the game involved the two Warlords.  Firstly, Captain Nero led his command squad to go mano-a-mano with a skimmer (Devilfish?) and some battlesuits.  Despite the electric field that zapped three of my command squad - 

(quick diversion:
Him:  So that's three of your grunts dead...
Me:  Grunts?  These aren't grunts - they're hand-picked company commander's Honour Guardsmen!
Him:  So they're veteran grunts.
Me:  Yeah, that's about right.)

- Captain Nero managed to land a meltabomb home and send the skimmer crashing to the ground.  Despite holding his own in subsequent close combat for two turns with the battlesuits, he was eventually squashed.

The Tau blast away at the defence lines
The Tau commander was simultaneously charging towards my tank squadron, the Vanquisher dead, when he found himself standing in front of the Demolisher.  Despite a volley of railgun fire it survived, and when the dice passed over to me I managed to blow it to smithereens.  Hurrah!  (It died shortly after).

Anyway, with the game now fully degenerated we agreed to call it a day, with the Imperial Guard soundly beaten.  It was an interesting game, not least because it gave me another rare chance to try out some of the rules of 6th:
    • Casualty distribution was a big one, with lucky blast shots taking out commanders and sergeants much more easily if they're standing at the front.
    • Hull Points was also good - I like the idea of a hull point being lost for a glancing hit, so a powerful tank can still be ground into the dirt by weight of fire rather than getting loads of 'Shaken' results.
    • Ordnance and blast weapons are much more simple, and I like the -BS rule for firing in LoS.
    That's the stuff, Commissar!
    Commissar?  Are you okay?  Oh dear.
    It's never fun to be beaten (just so long as you have fun) but I found the game a bit repetitive at times, it did have the feel of whenever I got a stroke of luck it was always trumped by some invulnerable save or special rule.  I feel that a lot of new armies are very special-rule heavy.  The Tau are evidently a very offensive army, but with a very strong defense too, in the form of drones and vehicle saves.  Whereas my Guard are very offensive but lacking in any serious staying power.  That said, it was good to get out there and try the army out on a new opponent and meet a few other hobbyists.

    Which one of you wants it?  One at a time or all together,
    makes no odds to me!
    I suppose that's the definition of magnanimity.  Now I now what it's like to be blasted by things out of LoS - poor long-suffering Headologist and his lovingly converted Space Marines.  If you can dish it out, you've got to take it I suppose.  My conscience wasn't helped by the fact that three hours after the battle was over, I happened to be working on my latest conversion (a full project report will follow next post - suffice to say it was a big tank ... ).  I texted a picture to H for his views and got a sigh back, along with 'it's another bloody big gun'.  I guess I'm as guilty as the next man of being a bit of a 'power gamer', and I was almost shamed into dismantling it and turning it into another wreck model.  My love of big guns triumphed over my sense of fair play, however, so I'm carrying on with a slightly toned-down version of it.  Piccys to follow next post!

    Thanks again for reading,

    The Colonel.

    Comments

    1. Even though you were beaten you had fun and thats the name of the game - or rather Warhammer is - but its late and I'm feeling funny - ha!.

      I liked the back and forth a la your 'Veteran Grunts' - worth a giggle even if they were killed, at least there was a bright side.

      Looking forward to your WIP piccys.

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    2. Nice write up, glad you still enjoyed it. 2000 point on a 4 x 4 table looked a bit cramped though!

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    3. Hehe good write up, nothing above 1500 should be played on 4x4 and sometimes I think that can be pushing it. I don't mind the blasting from non-LOS ordnance cos we still have bloody good closely fought games - the last one is a good case in point, with the upper hand seeming to change every turn. Despite the fact your new conversion was a big gun the response was a lol more than a sigh (I do really like the look of it) - as if I recall this was supposed to be an-all infantry army initially :P

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    4. You have my sympathies - I regularly get a pasting from the Tau...

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    5. That's my least favorite thing about playing at my local game store, the tiny tables. I understand my opponents desire to use his full collection or army but on tables that size it's a bit counter productive. The exchange usually goes something like this:
      OPPONENT: So what size game do you want to play?
      ME: 1000 points or maybe as big as 1500.
      OPPONENT: But that's means I can't field my uber death squad, and uber fast squad.
      ME: But you don't really need those units in a small game.
      OPPONENT: But I've spent all my monies and this is what I want to use.
      ME: OK, OK, what size game do you want to play?
      OPPONENT: 3000, that way I can use my new Ork allies, and all my Chaos Marines.
      ME: *under breath* This is why I drink at lunch break.

      Anyway you get the idea. Great battle report, surprising to see the volume of AAR lately but very pleased by it.

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    6. Oh well. Better luck next Tau.

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    7. Give him the bayonet straight away next time ;)

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    8. Thanks for your comments guys! As ever, all are very much appreciated.

      @Rogue Pom: Thanks - yeah I am a fluffy gamer but I do play to win when I can. Despite this the main aim is to have fun so in that respect it was a victory.

      @Vladdd: Very cramped! But thanks.

      @The Responsible One: Cheers - it's a new experience for me! Will you be at the victim support meeting tonight?

      @Chris: Genius! Were you there? That's pretty much exactly what he said. As Headologist pointed out, although big climactic battles are cool, it's the smaller ones which give me a chance to use my scouty units like sentinels and salamanders, which look cooler.

      @Zzzz: It'll be a while before I pluck up the courage to face Tau again! But when that day comes... thankyou.

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      Replies
      1. I'll be at Darksphere on Tuesday evening, griping to anyone who will listen... ;)

        I am starting to have a few sneaking suspicions about how to try and deal with Tau using the Guard, and if my research bears any fruit, I'll blog it. Hopefully after blasting a few of those self righteous xenos scum into the dirt...

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