Friday, October 9, 2009

Tau Vs. Mech Eldar: 2000 pts but only 1 winner

This batttle report demonstrates that a hard-fought game, won or lost, can be extremely fun and rewarding. My friend, Alex, whom I haven't played in years, met me on the tabletop at Dream wizards in Rockville last night. Alex is a really competitive player; he always has really strong lists and he never loses sight of the mission objectives.

This game was no different with Alex bringing 5 wave serpents and 3 fire prisms. Their cargo consisted of one seer council with Eldrad, fire dragons, and three squads of bladestorm dire avengers. I brought my usual army with 250 points added to the list on the spot before the game. I hastily added a unit of 8 pathfinders and 4 XV25s with targetting arrays. Not the best choice for facing an entirely mechanized army; a better choice would have been another squad of Deathrain XV8s and 10 kroot with 5 hounds for 247 total. Alas, if only I had the models...

Game was pitched battle, capture and control. Alex won the roll to go first and placed his objective in the corner, but not exactly snug in the corner as I did the opposite corner of the board.

Tau reserve about 60% of their forces, with all XVs deepstriking, including the stealth suits. My plan was to get behind his advancing skimmer-tanks and knock them out or at least immobilize them, then move my reserve devilfish to claim one objective and contest the other with piranhas or another devilfish. No plan survives contact with the enemy and you'll see how mine were not able to realized due to confounded star engines and Eldrad's psychic powers, which took out my piranhas. However, it was the star engines that prevented the game from being a draw. A note to Eldar players: never leave home without star engines.


Adam said...

Yep, you just can't stop them with the current Tau firepower can you?

the wave serpent shields knock the strength of your railguns down to 8.

And when the Eldar speed their tanks to contest objectives on the last turn, you can't kill them due to lack of close combat capability and because if you have any fusion blasters, you don't get the extra D6 armour penetration because of the shield.

In hindsight, he probably could have probably driven everything straight down your through instead of dancing around and done you in a lot quicker.

Hedzer said...

I've played Eldar only once and we are both still learning to play our armies. But my conclusion so far: I can't out maneuver them but I can out gun them.

With 6 MP (some TL), 2 FB, 3 BS and some seekers, I will roll on his dmg table about 3 times per turn.

As Old Shatter Hands said at the end of the movie, Missile Pods are your friend against Eldar.

Managarm said...

My blog mate plays eldar (not mech, more a mix of everything) and so far I conclude, marker lights and missile pods are the best choice to stop them from speeding around, albeit I've been lucky with railguns so far.
But eldar are always a hard nut to crack, not only for tau. Too fast and in a strange way very resilient.
Btw, nice video!

Smurfy said...

I play a similar Mech Eldar list but am dropping the Council because it does get foiled when you Immobilize a foot one's Serpent; SW/IG have valid counters to stop it flat and I can only assume the other new books will be updated to handle it; it falls to eggs in a basket deal; and Tau firepower can get rid of any Council.

Star Engines aren't essential, and if this was a 2k game I surely think he can fit more stuff in for the price of a council. I mean my 1.5k already has 5 Wave Serpents and 3 Prisms :P

As a Tau player your firepower can bring him down, even easier when he tries to Star Engine/ Flat Out across.

Your best route to prevent Eldar's victory is blocking the landing zones while trying to take out mobility over all else. Take the 2nd turn so you get the last turn and they can't as easily zoom over and auto contest.

When I was in VA I think I know this Alex, (Lane the last name?) Never played him but nice to know he's keeping up with 5th if it's him, thought he gave up on 40k.

Anyways that's all I gotta say and keep the Kroot even against another Mech army. They have so many uses!

suneokun said...

I've played Eldar with Tau and Guard, mixed forces like you faced. From my experience I can suggest the following:

1) Bow-waves only ignore the 2D6 fusion blast from the front and side, target the rear armour with deepstrike.

2) Missile pods are good, but seeker missiles are actually better. The SkyRay is an excellent anti-Eldar weapon. (With the Imperial Guard, I bring autocannons and Missile Launchers) - if you can only hit S8, fire S8. This is one time when configuring XV25s with a markerlight is sweet. They can move and fire with that baby (thanks to relentless) which means they can keep hitting those pesky tanks.

3) MOST IMPORTANTLY... Eldar aren't that tough in close combat against Guard or Tau. I've beaten down Harlequins with a small squad of XV15s and some pathfinders. They're only T3 and once you crack their transports, they're armours not great. Stealth suits and Crisis Suits have a strong chance of beating down Eldar in close combat, where your higher strength, additional attack and 3+ armour gives you a good to even chance against most Eldar. I've found the 5 XV25+5 gundrone unit to be strong against eldar, offering you 25 attacks on the charge. As you've noted, Kroot would have been a solid option too - even able to assault vehicles.

Great batrep OSH, nice work! You'll get them next time!

Old Shatter Hands said...

Great points all...although I with XV8s but still...I think missile pods are the way to knock out these transports. Every time I fire on them with my deathrains, they blew one out of the sky. I was also playing a 2,000 point game when I had been prepared to play 1750 as I normally do. Having to hastily throw in 250 points only from the models I had with me, put my opponent at an advantage. So in a way, it was more like I was playing a 1750 army vs. 2,000 point one. If I had come with a 2,000 point list made up before hand, it would have been different I think with me bringing XV8s instead of near useless XV25s.

Star engines are game-winners for Eldar. Although people are using them questionably, by ramming and tank shocking with them.

I'll get those confounded Eldar next time!!!

Smurfy said...

Well that's cheating then, if you want me to sound harsh about using Star Engines to Ram. - Ramming is a MOVEMENT PHASE only thing ;)

Even I as another Eldar player know that.