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Pictures for this batrep can be found here and here. Click on the two "here" words to be taken to the Photobucket albums concerned.
Over the week-end of 27 Feb – 1 March, Bad Company Gaming Club in Bangor, Northern Ireland, staged a massive Apocalypse battle. The Tau (under the control of Vedalslayer and Eiglepulper) took on the combined might of the Aryanan 8th Imperial Guard Division (controlled by Feldmarschall Rimmel) and their allies the Blood Ravens (commanded by Grimlock). The two armies each consisted of 30000pts.
From the left: Eiglepulper, Vedalslayer, Grimlock and FM Rimmel.
Once you've all recovered from the shock of that photograph, we'll continue with the batrep.
The Tau army consisted of a 10,500pt contingent known as the Ka’rashi Lissera (= Exiled Union) which belongs to Eiglepulper, and 19,500pts of three individual contingents – Alfa, Kilo and Lima – which belong to Vedalslayer. The Imperial forces consisted of 20,000pts of Imperial Guard, owned by FM Rimmel, and 10000pts of Blood Ravens owned by Grimlock. Their component parts are detailed below:
Tau Order of Battle:
103 Kroot, 8 Sky Rays, 20 Devilfish, 11 Railgun Hammerheads, 1 Fusion Cannon Hammerhead, 67 Stealth Battlesuits, 16 Piranhas, 48 Pathfinders (8 Rail Rifles), 8 Pathfinder EMP Commandos, 49 XV8 battlesuits, 12 XV8s = 4 Commanders + Bodyguard, 2 Watch Towers, 16 Broadsides, 40 Gun Drones, 2 Sniper Drone 3-gun Teams, 1 Ethereal, 11 Honour Guard, 3 Kraken Super Heavies, 4 Heavy Gun Drones/Marker Drones, 230 Fire Warriors, 4 Tetras, 2 Remoras, Shadowsun, Shas’O R’myr, XV81, XV84, 16 Vespid, 3 Barracudas, 2 Tigershark AX-1-0s, 1 Orca. Not mentioned are the Shield Drones/Marker Drones accompanying Broadsides and Commanders etc.
Aryanan 8th Order of Battle: (You may notice that FM Rimmel has a penchant for German military history....and a good sense of wry humour with names.)
10th Panzer: “The Empire”: Vanquisher HQ, 3 Vanquisher elites, 6 Russ troops, 3 Sentinels, 1 Hydra, 1 Demolisher, and 1 Laser Tank Destroyer.
21st Panzer: “Death’s-head”: Executioner HQ, 3 Vanquisher elites, 4 Conqueror troops, 2 Hellhounds, 1 Hydra, 1 Demolisher, and 1 Laser Tank Destroyer.
44th Mechanised “Greater Aryana”: 95 men, 10 Chimeras, 3 Salamanders, 1 Trojan, 1 Atlas and Tech Priest, 3 Griffons.
Romeo Co. “The Lifeguards” under Col. Kesselhoop: 4x 35-man platoons, 6 lascannons, 3 autocannons, 3 heavy bolters, 6 mortars, 3 rocket launchers, 3 snipers, 2 Earthshakers, 20 security squad members, 20 Stormtroops, Feldmarschall Rimmel and entourage.
328th Regular Infantry “Greater Aryana”: 3x 35-man platoons
66/15th panzergrenadiers: 35 men
49th Artillery: 1 Chimera, 3 Basilisks, 1 Manticore
101st Deathworlders “Green Hell” (Catachans): 55 men, 10 Devils, 3 autocannons, 3 heavy bolters, 6 mortars, 3 snipers, 6 mines.
7th Air “Rough Riders”: 50 Stormtroopers, 5 Valkyries, 3 Vultures.
Unicorn Flight, Aryanan Army Air Corps (P/Officer Doug Gooder): 3 Lightnings.
Marauder Destroyer “Enola Strait”
Jackal Titan: “Pride of the Rur Forgeworld”
Elements of the Ordo Hereticus Crusade mission “Piety of Aryana”: Inquisitor, 20 Sisters, 20 military police, 10 Seraphim, 15 Repentia, 6 Arco-flagellants, 3 Rhinos, 1 Exorcist, 1 Repressor.
Blood Ravens Order of Battle:
60 Terminators, 50 Tactical Marines, 8 Librarians, 20 Vanguard, 2 Land Raiders, 2 Landspeeder Typhoons, 20 Sternguard, 6-man Command Squad, 2x 5-man Devastator squads, 6 Dreadnoughts, 5 Rhinos, 2-3 Razorbacks, I Predator Annihilator.
Assets and Apocalypse Formations used:
Tau: Remote Drone Network, Flank March
Imperials: Careful Planning, Flank March.
Tau Apocalypse Formations:
Firestream Piranha Wing x3
Farstrike Battlesuit Force
Rapid Insertion Force x6
Armoured Interdiction Force x4
Skysweep Missile Defence Wing x2
Kroot Mercenaries x5
Rapid Redeployment Force x3
Nighthunter Stealth Group x4
Pathfinder Search and Destroy Cadre
Imperial Special Formations:
Terminator Titanhammer Squad
Deathknell Orbital Strike x2
Sternhammer’s Wulfen Guard
FM Rimmel preferred not to use any Apocalypse formations for the Aryanan 8th.
Setting up the game was done on the Friday evening. The two teams had previously rolled for first set-up and first turn but it was decided to waive the normal setting-up procedure as it would simply take too long to deploy! Instead, the teams were to pre-deploy on paper so that the models could just be placed on-table on the Friday. The only stipulation was that nothing could be altered from the prearranged deployment, so this precluded any “optimised deploying”. Strategic planning/instinct/assessment of known play style/the “where would I place such-and-such?” was very much the way of things to try to out-guess the opposition!
Originally the table was to be 16’ x 6’, but when we saw just how much stuff was going to be involved, this was rapidly extended to 20’ x 6’. It was split into five 4'x6' sections: jungle, relatively clear countryside with some hills and a Watch Tower, slightly more inhabited countryside with small hills and some small buildings, an airfield and the City itself.
The game started at 11am Saturday. Another club member was employed as War Correspondent because there was simply too much for the players to cope with without adding the taking of batrep notes.
We continued to play until almost 10pm, with short breaks for unimportant things like lunch and evening meals. Generally though there was precious little let-up during the day, and all four players went home mentally shattered. Turn One had lasted almost 6 hours, and Turn Two was just about halfway through its assault phase!
We reconvened on the Sunday morning at 9.45am, completing Turn Two’s assault phase. As we were a fair bit behind the anticipated schedule, it was decided that Turns Three and Four would have time limits put on them for each side – 1.5hrs and 1 hour respectively. This proved to be both sensible and extremely interesting. Concentration and tactical decision-taking levels went through the roof, with no time for messing around deliberating one’s next move. It really was a case of snap decision followed by immediate execution.
The game ended at 4pm, with everyone totally shattered but also elated at having participated in arguably the best game ever had at the club.
So......what was the result and what actually happened? Well, settle back into your chairs, get some sort of beverage in your hand, unhook the telephone and sit back. Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin.
Tau Turn One.
As agreed, the Tau got to open the scoring. Immediately, the Nighthunter Stealth Groups were deployed in the city zone right in front of the Imperial lines. This permitted the Fusion Blasters to get a close bead on some nice fat tanks.
The Pathfinder scout moves had been used to secure the Imperial objective which had been placed on the Tau side of Watch Tower Hill. The Firestream Wings left their Command vehicles guarding the backfield with their Disruptor Beacons and headed for the Jungle area to allow side armour shots with their Seeker missiles. Sensor Spines had been fitted to avoid any Dangerous Terrain tests. The Nighthunters moved up to capture the Tau objective placed in the IG zone of the city.
The first shooting phase was one of the hardest and longest any of us have ever experienced. The Remote Drone Network was deployed right into the Imperial city zone where a large concentration of IG vehicles was amassed. Seekers from the strategically redeployed Piranhas were unleashed at the more vulnerable side armour of the IG tanks, while Railguns from the Hammerheads facing them targeted the frontal armour. This onslaught destroyed and disabled a good number of vehicles, but not as many as anticipated due to the cover saves and Track Guards. A Kraken took down a Tank Destroyer.
The Fusion Blasters in the Nighthunters units had surprisingly little effect on the tanks nearby, although one T-Ldr used his HWTL to shoot at a Leman Russ from close range while his squad turned a neighbouring IG squad into colanders with their Burst Cannons. An XV15 unit scaled the tower where the objective lay and killed the Vindicare Assassin who was on guard there. Since he was only 5” away, the Stealth unit didn’t even bother to roll for night fight vision (in other words I forgot to)! Even better was XV15 Blue Team’s efforts to “get up close and nasty” with another IG unit, assaulting them. However, the IG unit suffered from Iron Discipline and didn’t run away even though they lost the fight.
Imperial Turn One.
The movement phase saw the predictable arrival of the Space Marines. Despite Disruptor beacons covering the entire length of the Tau board edge, only one of the three Terminator formations was redirected. However, this meant that the Tau players got to place its arrival point, so it was with glee that we sent it packing to the back left corner of the Imperial city zone. This successfully blocked in the tanks and Chimeras sitting there, as they could not move over their own troops, and since the Termies were arriving from Deep Strike they couldn’t get out of the way!
2 Baneblades and a Shadowsword rumbled onto the pitch, and with their arrival began the feared Ordnance shooting. Track Guards, cover saves and the presence of Command Tanks undid much of the Tau’s good shooting results, which meant that there was far more big stuff going to be flung at the Tau than we’d hoped.
Sure enough, the 3 Sky Rays from the Exiled Union’s Skysweep Missile Defence Wing were targeted by Basilisks and unfortunately blown to bits, their Disruption Pods failing to work (i.e. my Dice From Hell were having a laugh at my expense). One can only assume that Feldmarschall Rimmel was “concerned for the welfare” of his imminent air force arrival.
Elsewhere however, the Disruption Pods frustrated much of the IG firepower much to the annoyance of FM Rimmel.
In the jungle area, a unit of Seraphim sprang a surprise attack on the 4th Exiled Union Sky Ray, successfully immobilising it in the assault phase although losing a member of the unit to Flechettes. However, the SR was only immobilised, not destroyed, and it still had Seekers and its SMS. It still had teeth.
The Terminators in the Tau back line took down a Broadside with an assault cannon fusillade, while others took out a Sniper Drone Team. The shooting wasn’t thankfully terribly productive....
Assault continued in the city with the XV15s managing to swat another Guardsman or two, but still the beggars won’t run. Still, at least no one can shoot the XV15s.
Tau Turn Two.
The Tau air force arrived, along with another Armoured Interdiction Force and more Kroot to reinforce the units already in the jungle. The Pathfinder EMP Commandos also arrived just where “The Boss wanted them” thanks to a cooperative cuboid rolling a 5. Their target was the Basilisk battery in the IG jungle zone backfield. In the city, Shadowsun deep struck into the middle of her Stealth chums.
The Remote Drone Network was deployed, followed again by a shower of Seeker missiles. Unfortunately the Beta Strike was even less successful than the Alpha, causing fewer cases of permanent damage. Hammerheads and Broadsides take pot shots at opportune targets but the main success of the phase is the destruction of the Shadowsword by the Exiled Union’s Tigershark AX-1-0 and its heavy Railguns.
In the city, Shadowsun and the Stealths showed some Terminators that their invulnerable saves are not up to Fusion shots. However, the Stealths deliberately did not mow down the entire 5-man Terminator team as they were still blocking the armoured advance nicely.
The EMP Commandos approached the Basilisks with caution, as there were a couple of squads of Catachans in the vicinity. The softly softly approach won them the satisfaction of watching a Basilisk go BOOM! Now the problem remained – how do we stay alive?
The Seraphim unit which had assaulted and immobilised one of the Sky Rays now found itself under attack from a rather determined unit of Kroot Mercenaries, while several Gun Drone units from the Piranhas took on some of the outlying Catachan units, including Colonel “Iron Hand” Strachan himself. The Seraphim became a meal for the Kroot while the Gun Drones held on well against the Catachans. Colonel Strachan excelled himself by successfully missing with three of his attacks against four Drones. He was then successfully butted to death by the little Frisbees who were slightly annoyed that one of their friends had been destroyed by Strachan’s power weapon.
Imperial Turn Two.
The dreaded Imperial naval response arrived with all 12 aircraft hurtling through the skies towards the battlefield. The Marauder Destroyer (“Enola Strait”) was accompanied by 3 Vulture gunships and headed towards the Tau occupying the city table. The 3 Lightnings peeled off to confront one of the Tigersharks.
The Marines again tried their luck with Flank March but this time the Disruptor Beacons cause merry hell with communications and many of the Marine units found themselves arriving from the IG side of the battlefield. This successful use of Disruptor Beacons effectively neutralised the Marines for practically the rest of the game, as they were too far away to give the Tau too many headaches.
Unfortunately, not all of the Marine units were redirected. The Tau commanders were somewhat alarmed to discover that there were now two units of Wulfen in their midst. Sternhammer’s chaps had arrived.
Why do dice always fail you when the most vital time for their cooperation is at hand? Never mind the Wulfen – the Jackal titan also avoided being shunted to the IG backfield (only just though!) and stomped on in the clear terrain section of centre table, valiantly trying not to stand on its own Terminator allies!
Ok, so with reserves now on the IG began their armoured advance. A massive mechanised infantry wedge crested Watch Tower Hill, threatening the objective on the Tau side. In the city, the Terminators managed to move far enough out of the way to allow the vehicles behind them to shunt the destroyed ones out of the way and come forward a little. However, faced with quite a few Fusion Blasters the thought of Tank Shock was not really crossing FM Rimmel’s mind.....
The jungle area also saw some action as a unit of Sisters Repentia with their Mistress began to wade through the undergrowth towards the Tau lines.
During the shooting phase, the Tau’s Disruption Pods again fared extremely well against the huge ordnance deliveries. Unfortunately the Marauder and the Lightnings did quite a bit better. The Enola Strait’s napalm bombs killed many Fire Warriors and damaged some of the vehicles as well. The Lightnings splashed Alfa contingent’s Tigershark, but used up all 12 Hellstrike missiles and a bucketload of autocannon fire to do so. One of the Krakens was also destroyed, but this left the Titanhammer Terminator unit a little cross as it meant they had to stand around doing nothing in the assault phase.
The assault phase proved pretty deadly. Broadsides succumbed to Terminator pressure, while an arco-flagellant unit splattered a small Stealth unit. However, Kroot and Catachans fought on more even terms in the jungle and ended up in a stalemate.
Over at the Basilisk battery, the EMP Commandos were still pinching themselves because FM Rimmel had managed to forget entirely about them in Turn Two. This meant that they were safe to proceed in the Tau Turn three.
Tau Turn Three.
With many of their heavy support vehicles either damaged or destroyed and enemy assault troops now in their back yard, the Tau looked to their reserves to redress the situation. This was to be the “Grand Arrival”, which included the Alfa and Lima commanders arriving in the city to bolster the rear lines and the Tau High Commander – Shas’O Vy’Koun’Tmon’Go’Mur’I himself – deep struck with his bodyguard and attendant Shield Drones into the city outskirts near one of the Imperial objectives. The third Kraken also appeared, as did 3 Rapid Redeployment Forces. The latter deployed in the jungle, urban and airfield tables, from where their Strategic Redeployment move in the next turn would allow them to descend like avenging descending things on some of the objectives.
The Orca also meandered in and landed in the airfield area, disgorging 2 Fire Warrior units and a Battlesuit unit. A couple of independent Devilfish also arrived “to annoy the Marines a bit”, but the most significant units for turn three were the Rapid Insertion Forces – three of them – who deployed near Watch Tower Hill and in the city.
Not a lot of movement really otherwise, except that the Vespid from the Exiled Union bounced forward to get in range of the Repentia unit. Some Gun Drones and a few of the Piranhas also reckoned on having a go at them too, rather than getting sliced apart later!
The shooting phase started as always with the Remote Drone Network’s MLs being used this time against the armoured wedge at Watch Tower Hill. Thankfully the Gamma Strike this time did a little more damage, putting several vehicles out of commission. In the city, Sky Rays attempted to target the Marauder but although their MLs were in range, the Seekers only managed superficial damage.
The Remoras targeted and destroyed the Manticore, and in the city the Wulfen were fired upon by flamer- and plasma-toting battlesuits. Unfortunately much of this only caused scorched fur marks. Elsewhere, Railguns and heavy Railguns from the Krakens tried their luck against the Jackal, but apart from collapsing a few shields it withstood the barrage well.
The Exiled Union’s Tigershark decided to use its heavy Railguns as a pie plate on the nicely grouped units of IG skulking around one of the IG objectives. Result: lots of mushy troops.
The Vespid and their friends had a field day with the Repentia unit; the Vespid accounted for 7 of the girls while the remainder were mopped up by the other hired guns. With “high 5s” all round, the Vespid breathed a buzz of relief.
The assault phase was pretty short, but the EMP Commandos thought “Here we go, here we go here we go!” and launched themselves at the second Basilisk. The attack was again successful and the gun was silenced. In the city, the XV15 unit manages to dismember another Guardsman.....this was getting tedious!
Imperial Turn Three.
The Watch Tower Hill armoured assault advanced further towards the objective, despite their number having been mauled previously. The Marines consolidated their gains in the Tau lines, and Valkyries which had been circling Watch Tower Hill and the city now fast-roped their charges into the objective areas. In the urban area, the advance could now happen properly, though a trail of burning vehicles was left in its wake.
The shooting phase is lethal. Bye bye Orca, bye bye Kraken, second Kraken was disabled badly but at least remained partially operational. Long-range triple-A splashed the Exiled Union’s Tigershark (how many 6s can FM Rimmel roll!!??) and disaster struck in the city as Shadowsun was killed. More vehicles were also laid waste as the devastating firepower rolled on.
The assault phase saw the Wulfen “do their thang” without a Diet Coke in sight, the Kroot and Gun Drones fared rather better than expected in the jungle, and the XV15 squad *finally* managed to kill off the last member of the IG unit, leaving them free to consolidate into the lee of a building.
One Guard unit decided to have a go at the High Commander and his unit. This wasn’t a good plan....(evil sniggers, remembering the Flechette Dischargers on the suit)
Tau Turn Four (Final Turn)
The final Tau reserve unit, a Farstrike Battlesuit Force minus Broadsides, arrives right on target close to an Imperial objective. The Rapid Redeployment Forces now used their strategic redeployment asset to race to wherever the best opportunities for objective capture/contesting present themselves. The Exiled Union’s 5 Devilfish headed straight for Watch Tower Hill while those from the Alfa, Kilo and Lima contingents attempted to contest the objectives towards the airfield. All Fire Warriors remained mounted up.
In the city, the remaining Stealths moved towards the objective on the roof of the tower, while preparing to use their Fusion Blasters on any tanks which happened to be nearby. In the air above the city, the Barracudas attempted to get into a “tail-firing” position on the Valkyries, and a final tally of available Seekers was made.
The shooting phase was much reduced due to Tau losses, but nevertheless the Remote Drone Network was deployed again at Watch Tower Hill. A Seeker missile from the immobilised Sky Ray took down a Lightning, while other Seekers managed to destroy or at least disable some more vehicles. The Railgun shots were however largely ineffective this turn, and the Barracudas’ AA-mounted Ion Cannons failed to bring down any Valkyries.
The Farstrike Battlesuit Force had quite a lot of success though, taking a heavy toll of the IG defending the objective nearby. The High Commander’s unit also added to the carnage further up the table on the outskirts of the city. The recently freed-up XV15 unit took on the Autocannon unit on the roof of a building at the back left corner of the IG city zone, nuking it completely.
Assault was minimal, so all the Tau could now do was await the Imperial Final Response.
Imperial Turn Four (Final Turn)
Fast-roping Stormtroopers appeared in the city and around Watch Tower Hill, but in the latter’s case they were not able to get close enough to contest the objective due to the Tau's existing positioning. The Wulfen decided to go and look for some other things to rip apart, and the Marines wandered around looking for a fight.
The armoured wedges rammed Tau vehicles and tank shocked the troops in the city, pushing them back from the roof top objective.
The shooting was typically nasty, killing many of the battlesuits and Stealths. The urban area came under particularly heavy treatment; obviously the IG were *not* planning on letting the Tau have this particular objective. One Marine unit wiped out a Kroot squad and the third Kraken eventually was blown apart. However, almost as a one-fingered salute to the IG, a lone Piranha survived 30 shots thanks to its Disruption Pods (and very nice, cooperative dice). This Piranha was actually sitting right on top of the Watch Tower Hill objective!
One other “pleasant moment” for the Tau was when the last shot of the game scattered onto a Wulfen unit, killing three of them. No scorched fur this time!
Tau hold: the jungle objective and the Watch Tower objective.
Imperials hold: the urban objective, the churchyard objective and the artillery line objective.
Victory therefore went – narrowly – to the Imperial Forces.
In the final analysis, a great many factors affected the final result. The most significant of these were:
1. The formidable front armour of the Leman Russ, coupled with the Track Guards upgrade. These two combined meant that the vehicles were hard to stop, either permanently or even merely from firing.
2. Air power: the bombing runs and the ability to fast-rope troops right on top of objectives was of great value to the IG.
3. Disruption Pods: these outshone even the IG’s Track Guards and fancy armour plate! They proved their worth time and time again, demonstrating that they are assuredly THE upgrade for all Tau vehicles.
4. Disruptor Beacon: a free asset from the Firestream Piranha Wing formation makes taking this formation almost a given for players with multiple numbers of Piranhas. Accurate enemy Flank Marching was made very difficult, with many units being sent to locations where they could not really affect the battle.
5. Seeker missiles: nasty weapons, but more effective if used against softer-skinned vehicles like Chimeras and Basilisks. Although that sounds a bit obvious, side armour on many IG vehicles allows Seekers to penetrate on a 5, thus giving a reasonable chance of doing something bad. However, track guards and cover saves wrought havoc with the successful hit rate, literally halving the efficacy of these weapons. They do provide a significant punch, but their success rate vs their cost did not really balance the books.
Other lessons were learned, but as this post is already making your eyes water and your head nod, we’ll stop here!
Last edited by eiglepulper; August 14th, 2009 at 15:15.
"Tau Commandment #226: Participants who use Velocity Trackers in the Tau Clay Pigeon Tournament will be disqualified"
Great report! I only wish there were pictures of the actual battle. :c
Wow. seems like you guys were very dedicated to this...and who has 20,000 points of imperial guard? geesh, thats a lot. And yea, pictures of the battle would have been awesome. to see 60,000 points of miniatures on one table would be astonishing.
"How ironic it is that as fast as we spread progress and hope throughout the galaxy, the Tyranids spread death and despair."
- Aun'shi of the Tau
Epic. Just Epic. I'd like my buddies to get together for even a 5-10k battle, but nobody wants to put in the time. =( Nice writeup and pics!
The links to the pictures taken are in the very top line of the batrep post. Click on the two words "here" and you will get Vedalslayer's and my photobucket albums. (I've just added this suggestion in the OP in case anyone else has missed the links.)
Here's one though from Turn Three.
FM Rimmel could field up to 30k (possibly more) of the Aryanan 8th. What you read in the Order of Battle is only about 60% of his entire army. And yes, it's fully painted.....
Last edited by eiglepulper; March 11th, 2009 at 09:39.
"Tau Commandment #226: Participants who use Velocity Trackers in the Tau Clay Pigeon Tournament will be disqualified"
Heh~ skimmed right over that part for some reason. :p
Aaaaarghhhh my eyes, they burn, men in picture hurt eyes, scare Rikimaru
Seriously dude how in Jebus christs name do you keep track of a battle that size??
Looks fun though.
One more question, how many kids, internal organs did you need to sell to afford that army? I have a fair amount of 40K stuff (Thousands of pounds worth) but just how much does a battle of that that size cost to stage in models???
I'm still in shock...
from that photograph.
Oh, and reps for the sharing the game with us.
Q2: My own contribution was 10.5k of Tau which worked out roughly around £1500. FM Rimmel's stuff was nearer £7500 due to the vast amount of Forgeworld models (not all bought by him: some were presents, others were "here have that") and the other two players probably had about £5000 between them, perhaps a little more. All told it was in or around £15k of models, we reckon. We had actually considered taking out insurance for the weekend as we had to leave the models overnight unattended in the clubhouse. That experience was not funny; thinking of what 'might' happen if someone broke into the hall wasn't nice at all.
You could stage a 30k-a-side game for much less than that of course; we had a serious amount of Forgeworld products involved - the Jackal titan is almost £300 alone, and 2 Tigersharks are £250 total - but then that's the beauty of Apocalyptic games: bucketloads of normally "unfieldable" models.
"Tau Commandment #226: Participants who use Velocity Trackers in the Tau Clay Pigeon Tournament will be disqualified"