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This is hardly a battle report. It is more a focus on what I did to win this game comprehensivly. It is not a bragging session, just tactics and strategies that might help.
3 Shooting Warriors
3 Shooting Warriors
12 Spine Gaunts
15 Genestealers and Broodlord
This list had slaughtered a few army list before, most Meq. armies. It is definetely at a disadvantage against a mech list, and this is one of the reasons mech tau is so powerful. The large number of lists that are ineffective against it. The only army that becomes more effective is necrons.
I won the stategy roll and picked secure and control, it was an omega game, thus I started with my kroot and pathfinders.
Shas'el - twinlinked plasma rifle, fusion blaster, hwmt.
The commander, along with the railgun, was the only thing I had on the field to negate the Hive Tyrants and zoanthropes armour. I declared to deep strike him, because I knew that if I needed it, I could suicide him to at least kill the zoanthrope, if not finish off the Hive Tyrant. This doesn't always result in him dying the next turn either, especially if he does take out his target.
He deep struck on the second turn, before the Hive Tyrant was on the field. While the zoanthrope, along with the shooty carnifex, was the only major threat to my tanks, I still wanted to have him around when the Hive Tyrant made the board.
I wanted him behind the large forest on the right, he however scattered in front of it. It did mean I could take a wound off the zoanthrope with the plasma rifle. However, he then faced fire from termagaunts and warriors, and was very lucky he only lost 2 wounds.
I moved him behind the forest the next turn. I could have finished off the zoanthrope, but it would mean gaunt would have assaulted him the next turn.
Interestingly, hiding my commander was annoying enough to deep strike gargoyles so they could kill him. They scattered off the board.
On turn 4 I was able to move into the forest, rolling 3D6 for difficult terrain, and finish off the zoanthrope at range. The hive Tyrant was on the board this turn. At this stage of the game, I decided the only way to attack the Hive Tyrant was to shoot everything at it at once.
That opportunity never arrose. The HT assaulted my fire warriors and was stuck in combat. I kept my commander in the south east corner waiting. I would move him closer to the combat in my assault phase, and further in my movement phase. This kept my displacement the same. If I lost combat in my turn, my assault phase move could be another 6" further, to be out of assault range. If I lost combat in the tyranid turn, I would be closer, and be able to hit the Hive Tyrand with my short range weaponry.
The fire warriors never broke, thus he did nothing else for the rest of the game (apart from moving back and forth).
Crisis - twinlinked missile pod, mt.
This guy came on in turn 4. Looking at the board, the only things he was good at shooting at (warriors) were about to be shot down by other units. I decided this guy would have little impact, and so came on to the the west of the buildings, where any tyranid shooting would be directed at tanks instead of him.
He took a wound off the shooty carnifex up the other side of the field the turn he arrived. He did no more damage, with only carnifex's with 3+ saves to shoot at. I just made sure he made it to the western counter by turn 6.
Stealth Suits: Turning up turn 3, they moved up the western side of the buildings. They contributed by shooting down 2 warriors coming around the north western building on turn 4. Using their stealth protection, they did nothing else but get to the western counter by turn 6. As the most expensive scoring unit, this was much more useful than risking losing any to do more damage.
Fire Warriors in Devilfish: Turning up turn 2, when I really needed them. The large unit of genestealers had decided to infiltrate into the south western building. The idea was that they were only about 14" away from my pathfinders (before their scout move), and couldn't be seen because they were more than 6" into the building. I pulled the same trick with my kroot, putting them into the forest in the south western corner. The genestealers, deciding the pathfinders were too far away after their scout move, went towards the kroot.
The fire warriors unloaded in the genestealers face. They, with their devilfish, shot at and killed 8 of them. They did nothing else, and were at the western counter by turn 6.
Discussing the genestealer tactic at the end of the game, we both agreed it was the sole reason for the high massacre result. Infiltration means deploy last, it does not mean deploy as close as you can get.
Fire Warriors in Devilfish: Turning up turn 3, I had the west covered, and was worried about my commander and pathfinders to the east. I moved the devilfish to behind the square forest to make it less obvious what I was going to do. When turn 4 came, I moved the full 12", turned the devilfish around, exposing the rear armour, and unloaded the fire warriors within inches of the gaunts.
I didn't shoot the gaunts however. While they were termagaunts (BS3 S5 reroll to wound shots), one of the warriors was holding a S6 weapon, and my pathfinders could shoot the gaunts but not the warriors. They managed to kill 2 warriors.
They were assaulted by the HT and 3 gaunts in nid turn 4. They were able to kill the gaunts easily. This did mean I won combat however, and piled into the Hive Tyrant. While they were not able to touch the Hive Tyrant, its 18 attacks was not enough to kill all 12 of them, and I continued to pass my combat ld tests, thus holding out until the end of the game.
I had expected, and hoped every tyranid turn, that the fire warriors ran. I would have been able to use the other fire warriors in another rapid fire drop, the pathfinders, the railhead, and both crisis suits to finish off the Hive Tyrant. I had all units in postion if I needed them. This is where an ethereal is handy.
The devilfish, receiving 3 missed attacks from the HT when it assaulted, moved off and killed the last warrior to the west in turn 5. It then ran away from the carnifex's, all shots bouncing off their armour.
Kroot: I deployed them in the north west forest, to kill some gaunts. They shot down 3 gaunts in turn 1 and turn 2, killed 5 in combat when assaulted, and shot the remaining one turn 3. 6 died to gaunt assault and gaunt + warrior shooting. The remaining 4 spent the last 3 turns heading south (away from the carnifex's). They made their victory points back.
Kroot: Deployed in the forest in the south west corner to divert the genestealers west. It worked. I wanted the genestealers west because I knew I could surround them with my units coming from reserve and take them out and be safe from the rest of the tyranid army. They killed 2 genestealers turn 1. They also killed one in turn 2. They did nothing else.
Pathfinders: Unfortunately starting on the board, first unit on the table, I postitioned them so I could chose between 2 buildings for the pathfinders, depending where the genestealers went. As they went west, and the warriors had the middle building cover, I hid behind that middle building for 3 turns.
What they did was threaten. The tyranid player did not move his zoanthrope or warriors down the centre or to the west, as on of the units would have been lit up if they had done so. There's value even in not doing any damage, even in not shooting something that doesn't do any damage itself. Pathfinders make an aread of the board more dangerous, and help manipulate your opponents movements.
On turn 4 they moved through the building and shot the gaunts in front of the fire warriors, killing 9 (12 pulse carbines + burst cannon) with their devilfish in front of them. They then loaded up turn 5 and were next to the southernmost counter by turn 6, being almost as many victory points as a unit of fire warriors (128).
Ionhead: arriving turn 2, it helped shoot down the genestealers and broodlord. This is why I take burst cannons, because it offers more fire power when you concentrate to wipe a unit out. It did a wound to the shooty carnifex in turn 3, and was then shaken by said carnifex. Not touched in tyranid turn 4, it finished the carnifex off in turn 5. It was on the western counter by turn 6.
Railhead: Arriving turn 4, its burst cannons killed the last warrior in the east. The railgun couldn't hit, ever, and the burst cannons were out of range for the rest of the game. A railhead turning up turn 2 would have been nice, as it was, it was the second most expensive scoring unit, and was at the southern counter by turn 6.
I recieved 824 vp in objective victory points. There's a point to be made there somewhere.
I won by 1444vp.
My Tau W/L/D is now 27/7/6