The Cadre moved in the cover of darkness to mask their movements. The grav-tanks of the Tau Cadre slowly drifted Through the glades and over the watery lands of Thoth, maintaining the silence of a prowling hunter.
Old Shatter Hands moved with his bodyguard as the Fio'la radioed in. "Sir, sensory equipment is picking up a disturbance ahead. There seems to be some movement about 100 meters northwest but our sonar cannot get an accurate reading on it."
"Copy" Old Shatter Hands sent his bodyguard to survey the ground ahead. "Trackers online." The great robotic battlesuit scanned the horizon. "I've got nothing, sir"
"Keep the collumn moving and get me a visual from Mantas in orbit." Suddenly the sky lit up with fire and a great bolt of red hell blasted the XV8s of Shas'ui Rymo's team. In a single moment the entire team had been wiped from reality.
With no time to mourn, Old Shatter Hands commanded "prepare for battle, Eldar pirates ahead!"
Game one kicks off. I am facing a Mech Eldar Army which causes me to slap my forehead. I'm DOOMED. I play against Mech Eldar all the time and I am always surprised when this kind of army doesn't win. It hits really hard and is extremely difficult to pin down because of it's speed. On top of that, all those Wave Serpents downgrade my Railguns to Strength 8. I look at his army and pick my kill-points, marked below with an asterisk.
10 Dire Avengers
10 Dire Avengers
We roll for deployement and he gets to choose. He chooses to go second and picks out my 3 Fire Warrior squads as kill points, the Broadsides and the Piranhas. I set up a defensive wagon circle with two Hammerheads and reserve my Devilfish and the Piranhas. As expected, he reserves everything...could he be a follower of the Way of Saim Hann as I am?
I decide there is no point in moving out of my defensive wagons circle so we simply move to the second turn. I roll for reserves and my Piranhas and one Devilfish come on. He gets in a 2 Fire Prisms and 3 Serpents. 2 Serpents move flat out to attack and his Fire Prism fires off a volley. He nails my Deathrain dead on with an S9 blast that covers all three. I fail all 3 cover saves and the unit is wiped out. With that goes my cool, I was planning on relying on that unit heavily to knock out the transports attacking me. I start to grumble and for the record, this was a very bad thing to do. I hate when my opponents start to whine and this is what I was doing. Maybe its the cold I'm coming off of, or maybe its the Mech Eldar that is pissing me off but I shouldn't have gotten my panties in a bunch like I did. Ah well, live and learn.
My turn, I start to work the flanks a bit, my Piranhas attack and I try to knock out the transports. If I can get the Eldar on foot, I can hurt them bad. But I don't have any luck in knocking out transports until late in the game. He drops his fire dragons to roast a devilfish, but they get wiped out by Old Shatter Hands. With Wave Serpents rear exposed, I managed to drop their transport too. The Dire Avengers drop to attack the Broadsides but in an amazing show of luck the Broadsides make all their saves against 30 bladestorm shots. They get charged by the Dire Avengers, who simply cannot cause any wounds on them. The Broadsides and Dire Avengers get locked in a combat that last until the end of the game, with Broadsides stomping on the fragile Eldar.
With all of these Eldar breaking up my lines, I realize that he has only two troops and they are both locked in combat with my Broadsides. I decide its time to rack up some kill-points and try to take at least one objective for the win. I kill a Vyper and 2 Wave Serpents for 3 kill points with some great shooting. He kills two Fire Warrior squads but the Piranhas are zipping around avoiding any damage. Then the game ends on turn 5. Eldar have 2 kill points and zero objectives. Tau have 3 kill points and zero objectives. I have never been more surprised by a win in my life. Retrospectively, I think all my whining early on gave my opponent a false sense of confidence. He committed his Dire Avengers where he shouldn't have, thinking they would destroy the Broadsides in short order. The Dire Avengers had been unfortunately min-mixed for bladestorming. If he had chosen a power sword on his Exarch and made them more flexible, the Broadsides would have eaten it. Goes to show that over-specializing can cost you in the long run.
I gave my opponents high marks on painting and sportsmanship for putting up with my grumbliness. His army was really well-painted. His Farseer was gorgeous, too bad I have no pictures of it.
Game 1: Tau Victory.