Sunday, October 26, 2008
Aliens, Bugs, and Robots
40k Battle #2
Mission: Seize Ground (3 objective points)
Deployment: Dawn of War
Size: 1,000 points
Forces: Allied Necron / Tyranid Contingent
vs. Tau Empire
My 1,000 point Tau Expeditionary Force.
Andy's compact, 500 point Necron Raiders.
Chris' not so compact 500 point Tyranid swarm.
Hot on the heels of my terrain trio, Andy brings a brand new piece of terrain as well, an Industrial Pump Station. His is a tad more contemporary than mine, heh. Some of his Necrons pose on the catwalk. Hopefully there'll be more of these down the pike...
Scuttling, screaming, clawing forward through the pre-dawn gloom and fog, a clutch of Genestealers rush the Fire Warriors. The Fire Warriors, in turn, calmly sight in their long-ranged Pulse Rifles.
Turn 1: The allied enemy forces won the roll and got to set up first. Due to the Dawn of War deployment, they set up right on the halfway mark of the table, dangerously close to Tau forces and the two objectives. The three objectives were, once again, mushroom stands. Two separate Tau Fire Warrior squads cut down five advancing Genestealers in a crossfire.
An XV8 Crisis Suit team deep strikes into the middle of the battlefield.
The remaining Genestealers close ranks with the Fire Warriors.
Turn 2: The Fire Warriors didn't last a single round in melee with the Genestealers, staving off the additional charging close combat attack with their Photon grenades was but a brief respite. On the other side of the board, just as my six-strong Vespid were emerging from the table's edge, they were completely blown away, by Necron Gauss rifles, the whole squad was wiped out before they ever took to the skies. The Crisis team accurately deep struck into the middle of the action, cutting down one Necron Warrior and four Hormogaunts with their Missile Pods and Plasma Rifles, able to pick multiple units to fire upon thanks to their onboard multi-trackers.
The endless Tyranid swarm scurries forward.
A Tyranid HQ squad holds one of the three objective markers. Being an HQ unit, they wouldn't be able to count as a scoring unit, however, they will deny the objective to enemy scoring units as long as they're holding that position...and staying alive.
Turn 3: Things seemed to go from bad to worse for the Tau forces as another Fire Warrior squad was wiped out in melee by the Genestealer squad, who were living up to their hype as being true combat monsters. Kroot forces, who probably should have infiltrated at the beginning of the game, finally got in position to be effective, catching a Termagaunt squad in another effective crossfire with the Crisis Suits, cutting down a whopping fifteen of them, mainly thanks to the high AP values of the weapons brought to bear.
The Tau Commander stands alone against two squads of Necron Warriors.
Turn 4: Whereas Tau Fire Warriors are supposed to avoid melee, their Kroot allies excel at it. After a successful shooting round wiping out the Termagaunts, they charged headlong, shrill shrieks and sharp blades into the loathsome Genestealers, vengeance on the agenda for the Kroot. Numbers and an unexpected ferocity gave them the edge in battle as they destroyed all of the Genestealers, cracking open their shells and eating them like some type of nightmarish shellfish. There was a single XV88 Broadside Battlesuit on the table, but the majority of firelanes were choked full of terrain, it was relagated to a close combat role alongside the Tau Commander against the Necron Warriors. It's 2+ save gave it staying power, but it wasn't enough in the end and it was toppled. The Tau Commander fought on, slagging two more Necrons, however in the following shooting phase she was gunned down by massed Gauss Rifle fire.
The Kroot became the MVP of the Tau, and propose a most curious scenario. With the Genestealers completely wiped out, the objective marker is completely uncontested, and the Kroot are a scoring unit. Let's look at the other two objective markers. The one in the middle of the table is being guarded by an HQ unit, so it is claimed, but not scored. The last objective marker is indeed swarmed by a full strength squad of Necron Warriors, definitely a scoring unit, however, a full strength Crisis Battlesuit team is engaging them, effectively denying the Necrons the objective. The Crisis Suits are a multiple wound unit with a low 3+ armor save; they can't be wiped out that easily, but they're also not invincible. In the end, a tie would've been nice, I think an outright win is a bit of a longshot however.
There's a good moral here; always play your games to the bitter end, then count up your points, you may be surprised by the outcome, and the end might not be as bitter as you think. It's tougher to say what the actual outcome of the battle would've been, even though it looked like a total route of Tau forces.
I saw a complaint on a forum about this, stating it as "idiotic", though there is more general disgruntled GW rant in there than actual playtesting. By having objectives and goals for each battle you don't just have seemingly pointless games existing in a vacuum for no other reason than to 'fight'. With the missions comes some strategy and tactics of when and where your troops are going to deploy and defend. Sure, you can play for the total annihilation of the other side, but if time runs out and you haven't checked anything off your clipboard objective-wise, a moral victory is all you can claim, at best.