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OK, this is the first time I have used Tau in battle properly, and I will be playing a 750 point raid scenario (randomly rolled on the day so we're both a bit green for the battle itself).
I have played Imperials many times, so am familiar with their standard tactics, but their vessels just seem far superior to my line cruisers, yet slightly cheaper.
I will be using the following:
Kor'El (re-roll and Ld8 )
2 x Protector Starships
6 x Castellan Heavy Escorts (two squadrons of 3)
Coming to just shy of 750 points.
I know that it is likely I will have ordnance supremacy against an equally pointed, non-tyranid fleet, but with Imperial escorts being more manoueverable and just plain faster, as well as the resilience aond firepower of standard imperial cruisers vs my Protectors, I fear for my gunline (more like Missile line).
Any advice on either being slippery to get those last few savloes out before I can lay waste to crippled cruisers with my limited battery fire? Or any other tactics or tips that will preserve my forces in the battle ahead?
As previously mentioned I do not know what scenario will be played, so general tactics for pitched battles are as good as objective specific ones right now.
Thanks for the help!
Last edited by Sokahrthumaniel; September 16th, 2008 at 13:34. Reason: Spelling and grammar
Problem is that your missiles will be pointing at his 6+ prow, a bit futile. So if he has escorts or Dauntless light cruisers target those with missiles. The Castellans can nip around and shoot their missiles a bit more 'easily' at the IN cruiser's side.
Indeed, you do not have batteries to engage equally in a short fire fight. I suppose your opponent will at least bring a Dictator to counter your ordnance. If has no carrier keep distance and use missiles (even at 6+ armour) and bombers from long range. When in gunline range AAF past him, then CTNH (with cruisers). In a broadside duel you're normally toast.
All in all: keep distance.
Thanks for the tips, and yeah I forgot that the Castellans can give Imperial escorts a run for their money with the manouevering.
So basically what you are suggesting is hamstring his mobile elements, before just pelting his capitals from afar, maintaining distance? Seems sensible, and without light cruiser or escort support, if I can take them out fast, he will not be able to catch me as easily.
I am guessing that in objective specific games, such as attacking Transports and the likes, just sicking a load of Tau missiles against the objective craft is a good idea? Or still concentrate on their escorting warships?
Heh, when your attacker during convoy, spam those transports with missiles into oblivion. Forget about other targets, use batteries & lances on transports which are not in line with your missiles, otherwise harass some escort ships. You could even consider AAF to get in range as AAF does not halve ordnance if reloaded.
Battle still forthcoming, but I will keep youp osted as to what happens.
On an unrelated note - is the Emissary actually worth taking in any fleet (raid or battle)? I can see muses for most of the Tau vessels in the Kor-Or-Vesh fleet, (though Wardens seem a bit meh) but Emissaries just seem to occupy a status of 'Well they're cheaper than Protectors... right?' in my mind.
If someone could set my straight that would be awesome.
Check out this thread for a battle report with Tau CPF against Chaos, played last wednesday:
Good little bugger. When you field a Custodian always take them. Use as rearguard for your fleet to intercept flanking ships. When lines collide use their mobilty to strike and help your cruisers get away and turn. 10 points cheaper then Firestorm but -1 turret (not a big deal as Tau have enough ordnance) and -5cm speed).
I agree. I also have issues. Now if this ship had 90* turns (HECK IT SHOULD HAVE, 4 HITS ONLY!) I could see lot of use. Now you could use it as meat shield or so.
It does have one trick up its sleeve: upgrade launch bays with mines. You only loose fighters and no Manta's. win-win.
They're also useful against Eldar.
watch out for dominators. nova cannon+fp12 broadsides combined with 6+ prow will make a really, REALLY big mess of an ordanance fleet that wants to stay at range. 750 points buys you (i think) 3 dominators with dictator cover that can blow you to pieces with d6 damage per shot if you try to stay at range, but if you close they'll blow you to pieces with an fp36 broadside supplemented with dictator's bombers.
3 Dominatos + 1 Dictator = 790 points.
Also, loading up more as 1 Nova Cannon in 750 points is extremely unfluffy. Nova Cannons are supposed to be rare.
But yes, Nova Cannons, albeit very unaccurate at long range, can hurt your ships a lot. 1/6 chance he rolls a 'Hit'.
Although I do agree, Nova cannons are unfluffy in large numbers/small fleets, the game itself has no restrictions or 'fair play' agreement in place, so as a worst case scenario, three Dominators would hurt alot, and could kill off parts of my fleet rapidly.
I do however feel that the Tau have the reliability advantage at range, and that if they wanted to pay the sniping game, I would have alot more luck using my guided missile than they would using their Novas.
A refused flank tactic might work well if the enemy lack escorts, as i can scoot my castellans across to the other flank and pepper their sides with missiles if they want to go hunting the Protectors, and vice versa.
But I do fear the weapons and resilience supremacy of Imperial ships, and will not under-estimate how nasty a trio of Dominators could be.
Ty for the advice again.
Ok here it is. The battle was played yesterday, and we decided on a straight 'till one side holds the field' game in the end because we've been out of the loop for a little while with games. We have a refight using the Raid scenarios (random) planned for the coming weekend after an exciting and close fought game.
The forces were:
Kor'El (Ld8 with 1 reroll)
2 x Protector Class Cruisers (not in formation/squadron) - 1 is the flagship
3 x Castellan Heavy Escorts
3 x Castellan Heavy Escorts
Fleet Admiral (Ld8 with 1 reroll)
1 x Dictator which is also the flagship
1 x Gothic
1 x Dominator
4 x Sword Frigate
Because we hadn't played in a long time, we had a bit of a chat about our forces and the game to come first. This is when we decided a straight game to get used to phenomena and actual mechanics again would be a good idea.
Looking at both of our fleets, I realised that the Dictator had brought the Imperials up to par with my striek craft capacity, some what blunting the possibility of long range bomber strikes if it stayed central to the fleet. Also, the presence of a Nova cannon was worrying, though with only one, it was not too much of a threat unless it got lucky.
The Gothic/Domi combo was one I was expecting, but that did not make it any better - It was a blatant 'crippler' combo, and they were likely to be close together, if not squadroned. One good lock on would virtually guarantee a crippled, if not dead cruiser. At the very least it would force me to BFI and forego reloading my ordnance on one of my cruisers.
With this in mind I opted to use similar tactics to those in Horizon's Battle rep, and keep distance, before sweeping past and striking hard with ordnance, should the situation allow it.
Without further ado, onto the bat-rep.
(Disclaimer: We were not keeping notes so this will be a 'milestone' battle report, just detailing them ajor turning points of the game and how they arose, not a turn by turn play through)
We used a form of secret deployment, to deploy our ships 90cm or more form each other, using empty flight stands with a single d6 next to them to represent the 'roster number' of each ship or squadron. When we had finished placing counters, we swapped rosters briefly to check the ships matched the numbers, andp laced our true ships down.
Both of us had opted to deploy our capital ships as a core, and the escorts poised to protect the flank facing the enemy. Luckily for me, we had both opted for a refused flank, so my ordnance supremacy might play out for longer due to the greater distance.
The first few turns were uneventful, with the majority of my missiles being intercepted by Imperial fighters, and one failed roll stopping 3 Castellans from reloading for a turn. The Imperials approached cautiously, heading towards the grav well of a small planet just off centre from the battlefield, no doubt to screen from ordnance and use the well to turn without CtNH orders.
First blood went to the Tau Castellans, with both squadrons successfully reloading and three ships moving into 30cm of the swords as they preceded the main Imperial fleet. My opponent immediately braced as he saw what was going to happen, and as a result only 1 sword fell to the initial barrage of rail-fire, with another's shields knocked down.
I will say one thing right now, Tau missiles ARE for the Greater Good! I only had my frigates in position for 3 4 strong mased saloves, so they were less effective than I hoped against turrets, but even with his frigates braced, he lost every one to the spread of missiles, the closely packed formation they were in working against them.
My joy was shortlived as I realised I had placed my Castellans within the teeth of the Imperial guns for the next turn, and my Protectors would have to choose between supporting and getting drawn into a firefight, or manouver, leaving the Castellans to get themselves out of trouble.
Using the grav well of the small planet, The Gothic and Dictator (unsquadroned) wheeled to present their broadsides just out of range of the protectors, but well within range of the Castellans (one squadron within 15cm and one within 30cm). The Dictator hung back within the moon's grav well, launching fighters.
In a similar position to my opponent in the previous turn, I braced the first squadron as it was bracketted by the Dominator, 1 escort dying and another unshielded after the guns stopped firing. I then failed to pass ANY of my Brace saves as the Gothic hit with all four of it's lances, gutting the remained of the squadron.
The squadrons of fighters moved to form CAP on the two Imperial cruisers.
It was go time, and not seeing a chance to move out of the way effectively, without the Imperials using the grav well to their advantage, I locked on with my cruisers, moved forwards to within 30cm of the Gothic and Dominator, and fired everything I had, launching fighters, torps and blasting away with every weapon on the hulls of my cruisers.
The Castellans, having fired their missiles and having been untouched while their brothers were sent to their cold deaths in the void, relaoded their ordnance (eating my reroll into the bargain) and wheeled around behind the planet, coming into the rear fire-arc of the Dictator.
Shooting was unimpressive, but alright, with my opponent not bracing the Dominator, which took the majority of the punishment. Between the two Protectors three hits were scored on the Dominators hull, after the shields had been downed. The Castellans managed to down the shields of the Dictator, but scored no hull hits.
The ordnance phase was rapidly turning into my favourite phase. My fighters moved to intercept the CAP off of the Dominator, but my second set of 2 squadrons fell a few cm short of the gothic. As a result, the seocnd protectors missiles turned to strike the Dominator instead, along with the missiles of the first. The turret-luck of the Dominator was atrocious, with no missiles being downed. The Domi had gone onto BFI, but was reduced to 2 hits after a torrent of damage form the combined salvoes, leaving it crippled. A further critical smashed it's bridge, rendering it unreliable for orders for the rest of the game!
The few missiles that impacted with the Gothic in the aftermath were intercepted and destroyed by its CAP fighters. Two hits were made on the Dictator by missiles launched by the Castellans.
The Dictator moved around the planet, reloading again. The Gothic held high orbit, within range of both Protectors, and locked on. The Dominator attempted to disengage, but failed due to it's newly reduced Ld. Much to my disdain (and regret that I did not BFI) the Gothic kept its earlier form and not only stripped the shields from my flagship Protector, but scored two hull deep hits, one of which criticaled and crippled my Prow armament! The Dominator added to the fire, and in responce I BFI'd saving against the single hit.
The Dictator, seeing my prow deflectors go down, launched a salvoe of torpedos, followed by a wave of bombers. The torps impacted, but the bombers fell short by a fair margin, and I lost one more hit to the torpedos after my BFI saves, leaving my flagship crippled.
Luckily, the Protector that had taken such punishment repaired it's prow in the end phase.
The next turn would be our last, as time was running short for us.
The Castellans reloaded again, wheeling round the planet back into the rear arc of the Dictator. The damaged Protector went onto AAF and thrust past the Imperial capitals, to the otherside of the planet. The undamaged Protector closed to within strike range and reloaded ordnance. The Protector focussed it's rails and ion cannons on the crippled Dominator, hoping for a kill, and reduced it to a blazing wreck after two lucky lance hits and a failed test for BFI against my rail batteries.
The Castellans knocked the shields off of the Dictator, failing to damage it's hull.
Seeing 2 waves of bombers and strength 4, 2 and 6 salvoes of Tau missiles aimed at his Dictator, my opponent braced wisely. opting to use turrets against the missiles, he softened the blow, taking 1 hit after BFI saves (a poor showing on my part due to hitting the front armour with half), and a further 2 hits from bombs, leaving the Dictator crippled, but with no critical hits.
The Imperial bombers from the previous turn wheeled and engaged my Protector, also scoring two hits after turrets had thinned the wave. With that, it was down to the Imperials to finish the game.
The hulk kept burning and started to move out of the grav well, and the Gothic moved to come alongside the lightly damaged Protector, but failing it's Lock On test (preventing further order rolls). Without any orders possible, the Dictator moved forwards and turned to present it's batteries to me, putting my uncrippled Protector in its starboard arc.
BFI served me well and no additional hits made it through to the hull of my ship. The Dictator did have a single Castellan within its port arc and proceeded to destroy it, however.
Thus did the game finish!
(Note: No mention of then ova cannon is made as it missed every shot throughout the game. The gothic, for some reason, never fired its torps )
TAU: 1 capital crippled, 1 damaged escort squadron 1 damaged capital and 1 destroyed escort squadron.
IMPERIAL: 1 destroyed capital, 1 destroyed escort squadron, 1 crippled capital.
TAU: 385 (Tau Victory!)
The standard VP system in the BFG scenarios intro was used for this game.