Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The serpent and the flame

By TheGraveMind

I've been talking smack about my unfinished tau and gravyghost had a new eldar list he had wanted to try out. So it would be my fire caste vs his eldar. It was my first game against the new eldar, and I don't have that many games with tau under my belt so I was a bit concerned.

We ended up with vanguard deployment and five objectives. Two in my deployment, two in his, and one in the middle but closer to me. He won the roll and gave me first turn.

He had two fire prisms some guardians in serpents, reapers with illic in a serpent outflanking, two 6 man squad of bikes with warlocks attached, and a large squad of spiders with an autarch.
I had ethereal, stealth suits, ion riptide, 30 fire warriors, with one devilfish, skyray, sniper drones, ADL with quad gun, space marine lib with stern guard in droppod, and Tac squad in droppod.

First turn my stern guard dropped in and melta the fire prisms as I don't want to have to deal with them at long range ( no rail weapons, so s7 has trouble with av12.) The sky Ray fires all six missiles at a serpent, hit with all six and gets no pens or glances. Quad gun, snipers, and stealth kill 4 or 5 spiders. 

His turn he curses my stern guard and shoot with bikes and one squad assaults the one survivor. Spiders lose one to warp jump and serpents move up and shoot at stealth. Stealth vre is only survivor and spiders assault in, my over watch is hot and kills the last two spiders, so only the autarch make it and we both wiff in combat.

The tacs drop in and with some long range tau support take down another serpent. My last sternguard wins combat by one and the jet bikes flee off the table. Fire warriors kill the autarch, reapers cone in the wrong side and flat out to the middle of the board. My interceptor fire did nothing against the reaper's serpent. My surviving marines kill his guardians and are then killed by the bikes.

My riptide has to smash the Wave serpent to kill it, giving the reapers one turn to shoot. They take full advantage of the opportunity and split fire, the barrage killing half a fire warrior squad, the rest fire missiles into my devilfish approaching his objective from where the bikes fled. The devilfish explode, killing a good chunk of fire warriors, who flee of the table.

 His last Transport dives up to my left hand objective, and the guardians jump out and they try to kill off my fire warriors there. I make a large amount of saves and have three left. Sniper drones, Quad gun and fire warriors turn about and eliminate all threats on my half of the board. My riptide assaults in to the reapers and kills a few off each round.
Not from our game, but a fitting picture.

Bottom of 4 we call it as he has 3 bikes left on his back objective (and I still have one sternguard harassing them), while I have the remnants of two fire warrior squads on both of my objectives. A full sniper team, a Riptide who is about to kill the last eldar in combat, and a sky ray.

The game went surprisingly well in my favor, with the marines really pulling their weight. I do miss advanced stabilizing Broadsides with S10 rail shots. I've never been a fan of S7 spam, and with the AV12 of serpents, it takes a hella lot of shots to take one down that way. I noticed I really need something in my back fields to help fire warriors. My riptide is normally out on a flank, I need something that can shoot and punch. Like a tactical terminator squad, or dreadnought. But those are all elites and I really like the sterngaurd.Any suggestions?


  1. 2nd riptide, drop the devil fish...

  2. There's not really much in the way of "shoot and punch" when you're playing Tau/SM and can't take Terminators. There's really not even "punch" in there.

    You'd basically have to swap to Blood Angels for any real options. Sternguard are identical, Librarian still gets Divination, and the Assault Squad gets double Melta and a discount on their Drop Pod, so your core is still there minus the ability to use the Div powers on Tau. Then something like a small Death Company or Jump Assault Squad could hang out in the backfield.

    Death Company with Axes scattered in are one of the only effective MEQ assault units I've seen in 6th. Non-character (i.e. not challengable) AP2 is a rarity right now, and those assholes have 5 attacks each at S6 on the charge. Somebody's been testing a blob of them on Vassal (incredibly expensive at the size he's running them) and they swarm over Nid MCs/Dreadknights/Daemon Princes like they're nothing.

    The guy I've seen testing them is using them in a similar capacity; protecting the backfield for Tau. It can be hard for shooty armies to warrant the firepower necessary to kill off MEQ+FNP bodies when they're busy trying to reduce the number of Tau on the field as quickly as possible.

    1. Or another riptide. Which can toast some marines in shooting and kill off the rest in assault. Or jump away

  3. Thanks for the imput guys. Riptide will have to wait till I assemble my second one. I'm using the lib for book powers right now, so I haven't changed, but I do really like the idea of DC like that. I will have to try it.