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This free-for-all battle was played on an 4 x 8 board with heavy terrain. Each army had 1500 points; the armies consisted of Tau, Chaos (Khorne), and Tyranids. This will be a narrative battle report from the Tau's perspective, since they were the army that I used for this game. Slightly more in-depth game details will be provided at the end of the narrative.
The low hum of the Tau skimmers was the only noise to be heard over the rocky ruins of a very old city. The undergrowth had already returned and threatened to swallow the remaining ruins of old back into the ground; the only structure that stood immune to this inevitable task of nature was a gigantic series of walls that would have likely been part of a large castle, had the time not worn it down to simple slabs of rock stacked high into the sky. All of this was duly noted by Shas'el D'yon, called 'Darkblade,' as she moved elegantly in the Crisis Battlesuit that she wore.
The mission was a simple one. Shas'o Xar'sha, known on the battlefield as 'Steelwind,' had ordered a task force sent to retrieve a rare pocket of minerals and to secure any other resources in the area. He had chosen his most trusted lieutenants for this task: Darkblade herself, and her twin sister D'ka 'Brightblade.' The two were inseparable and were a deadly team on the battlefield, almost as if they were connected mind-to-mind. Indeed, during most exercises and battlefield operations, neither of them needed to use their communication devices more than only a couple times; most of these instances were to convey their orders to their troops, as well.
Darkblade noticed that the Pathfinders ahead had secured the mineral cache that they were supposed to find; right on time. The rest of the formation drifted in, and as the Fire Warriors began to relax, Darkblade noticed a swift movement at her peripheral. Whirling about, she came face to face with a tall, slender Kroot, its face painted in the white warpaint of his tribe. He began to speak in the clicking tongue of their savage allies, and it took but a moment for the systems in her Crisis Suit to inform her of what the wiry beast had said; a force of Gue'la, the dark and twisted sort, were moving in on their position accompanied by several armoured vehicles. The next bit was especially alarming; the dark Beast was here as well, something that the Tau had not been expecting.
With a simple gesture, she sent the Kroot back to his scouting squad, and began the preparations. The threat of panic at the mention of the Great Devourer came for all of a short moment to the warriors of the greater good; the cold and harsh tone of her battle commands sent them packing to their positions. There were still several resources that they could secure; the threat of attack was not their priority.
After a short conference with Brightblade, the Tau force decided that the best strategy would be to secure the resources that they could, then evacuate the area. A report had already been sent ahead by Brightblade herself to inform their commander of the current situation; the two had never been ones for waiting for the green light. Brightblade took a split of the force to watch for the Gue'la approaching; due to the reports of a high number of armoured vehicles, the task force's first Hammerhead and a squad of Broadside Battlesuits accompanied her, as well as a few of her trusted bodyguards, also equipped with Crisis Suits.
Darkblade herself took the rest of the force to confront the Great Devourer. It did not take long for the Tau to catch sight of each of the forces; they seemed intent on moving to eachother, likely because they did not know that the small task force had been caught between them. However, the Gue'la force, their vehicles decorated in all manner of vile skulls and chains and spikes, painted in blood red and black colors, took notice of the Tau and diverted a small portion of their force to head straight for them.
Brightblade did not hesitate. At her call, the horribly powerful Railguns shot out at the incoming armoured vehicles, accompanied by a salvo of missiles from the accompanying Crisis Suits and Brightblade herself. Several of the vehicle transports were immediately destroyed, and any return fire was easily avoided. Brightblade felt proud of her warriors for showing no fear, even at the sight of an armoured behemoth; she had seen one of these vehicles before, and knew that it, too, could be destroyed by the reliable rail technology that was under her command. She made ready the order...
Meanwhile, a horde of creatures had begun its assault. Perhaps due to the temptation of so much more flesh to devour, at least half of the Beast's force diverted from the main brood to head straight into the arms of Darkblade and her warriors. They were met with salvo after salvo of pulse fire, the Shas'ui in each squad reliably marking their targets for them. Just as it seemed that this would go on for Darkblade to mop up soon after, two terrible beasts emerged from the mass; these, she recognized from reports (for she had never battle this monstrous entity before) that they were classified as synapse leaders for the creatures.
All fire was redirected to these behemoths, who roared their agony and hunger at the Tau. They soaked up everything that was fired at them, and gave the smaller creatures the breathing space they needed to finally rush in and break the Tau lines, overwhelming the now panicking warriors under Darkblade's command.
Never one to hesitate, Darkblade and her retinue began to retreat, leaving the stranded Fire Warriors as they were torn apart by the smaller creatures. With a note that her supporting Hammerhead had been destroyed by the massive weapon that one of the giant creatures wielded, its hull partially melted by the venomous substance the projectile weapon had shot, she continued to retreat.
Brightblade rejoined her sister near their secured mineral cache. She was alarmed that her twin had left her warriors stranded, and was intent on going back to support them; as always, Darkblade stopped her. It was for the greater good; they were sacrificing their lives to allow for the securing of any resources that could be found. Reluctantly, Brightblade backed down.
Just then, the Pathfinder Shas'ui reported that they had located another valuable resource and were in the process of securing in, inside the large walls of the former castle structure. This was good news; the Kroot from before had also returned to inform them that his own squad had found resources that would be of use to their allies, so long as the Kroot were able to scour the battlefield after the current conflict. Darkblade gave the affirmative.
The Tau commanders assessed the situation; the Gue'la had retreated to fight the Great Devourer, and for some reason the mighty tyrants and smaller creatures of the Beast had returned to the main brood to join the combat against the Gue'la, as if some greater power had instructed them. This gave the Tau the perfect escape. Packing up their secured resources, Darkblade issued the order that all Tau forces were to retreat, carrying all resources that they came across.
On the way off the battlefield, the mindless melee that had ignored them now left behind them, they came upon another source of minerals that they had more than enough time to secure, and they shortly returned to their headquarters to give a full report.
2 Shas'els with Plasma Rifles, Missile Pods, Targeting Arrays, HW Multitrackers
2 Crisis Suits with Plasma Rifles, Missile Pods, Targeting Arrays, HW Multitrackers
1 Crisis Suit with twin-linked Missile Pod, Targeting Array
3 squads of 10 Fire Warriors with Shas'ui, Bonding, Markerlight, HW Target Lock
1 squad of 10 Kroot
6 Pathfinders with Shas'ui, Bonding, Warfish
2 Hammerheads with Railgun, 2 x Burst Cannons, Multitracker, Decoy Launchers, Target Lock
2 Broadsides with Targeting Arrays
3 squads of 8 Berzerkers with Skull Champions, Power Fists, Rhinos
1 squad of 5 Terminators with 3 Power Fists, 2 Combi-Plasma, Heavy Flamer
1 Chaos Land Raider
1 Chaos Predator with lascannon turret, heavy bolter sponsons
1 Hive Tyrant with wings, 2 x scything talons
1 Hive Tyrant with Venom Cannon
2 Tyrant Guard
3-4 squads of Gaunts
Armies aren't exact (except for Tau).
Mission was Secure & Control with five loot counters.
Basically, one guy deployed in the far corner of one side of the table; the other deployed in the other corner. I deployed in the middle, on the half of the table opposite to their corners. I could have easily got locked in the middle of their huge melee madness, but luckily I got to stop the Chaos army from getting to me.
The Chaos player made the mistake to rush some Rhinos towards me, and to leave line of sight to his Heavy Support; a Hammerhead, two Broadsides, and three Missile Pods took care of two Rhinos, the Land Raider, and the Predator in around two turns. I was able to also wipe out a squad of Berzerkers that tried to get to me, once I blew up their Rhino. He left me alone the rest of the game.
The Tyranids, on the other hand, gave me some problems; they took out two Fire Warrior squads and my Hammerhead, but the threat of two squads of Berzerkers, Kharne, and the late-coming Terminators from the Chaos player, as well as the newly created fire lane that I set my Tau up with, persuaded him to turn his guys back to join in a massive melee between the Khorne army and the 'Nids.
Needless to say, I did the Tau thing; I left them alone, and secured four of the five loot counters for a very solid victory.
I hope this wasn't too long! ;Y
Good job. Rep on knowing how to use Tau effectively. Not many of us Tau players can do this, and as such we get a rep for being either cheesy or noobish.
Turtles For the Turtle God!
Shells For the Shell Throne!
A stirring report. You might want to re-read the report however and select which names your twin commanders should keep. Currently they are named Darkblade and Brightblade at the beginning, and then Darkstar and Brightstar. I like the way you wroked in the storyline. I could picture it very vividly.
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