Thursday, January 21, 2010

Combat Patrol: The Woods of Thoth

Shas'ui Rymo walked down the line of the assembled Fire Warriors, who stood before him. Eight across and two ranks deep, the Warriors of T'aun stood at attention, their arms clutching long pulse rifles at their side. One of their number stood out to the naked eye. His body armor had been heavily augmented and a variety of digital displays glowed on forearms. As a sniper drone controller, he had spent much of his training alone in the hills, with Kor'Vesa as his only company. His attachment to the small patrol had warmed him inside, though he made no outward display of it. 

A stoic team of Shas'Ui, veterans of  Cadre, also accompanied the small regiment. They stood nearly 7 feet tall in their battle armor, but were not lanky like the Kroot that were about to join them in the woods. They were bulky and heavy but had not lost the natural agility of their race. 

"Shas'Lai, the greater good calls us on this night. We have orders to patrol Sector V86, a mountainous ridge along the River Naomasa. Mantas in orbit have detected what is believed to be small pockets of the enemy. We are to conduct a Ta'Yon and eliminate the enemy from the hills. We'll link up with a small gaggle of Kroot who claim they've located the enemy along the ridges of Naomasa. We move out in 2 milidecs. Hai!" 

The riches of Thoth, lay not in its great stores of petroleum, the essence of ancient forests, nor in its rich deposits of iridium, but in its clean air and water. Thoth was an unspoiled planet, a shimmering blue oasis in the abyss of space. It lay in the path of the great thoroughfares of the galaxy, not far from the two major warp gates of the Damocles Gulf. The Great Spacefaring races had all used Thoth as a watery and warm planet to gather food and water for the long months of warp travel ahead. Their space-weary crews had bathed in its lakes and rested in its great forests, until this paradise was enveloped by the Third Phase Expansion.

The Tau selfishly guarded their newly acquired world. Only citizens of the Empire could visit its shores. Yet the frequent visitors from other planets never ceased. The Tau relentlessly patrolled the planet and rooted out foreign settlements. Their diligence knew no fatigue. 

On this night, Manta's in orbit had let a small fleet of ship land on the lush aqua-green surface of Thoth. From their great hulls, leaped thirsty enemies, crazed from the long months of warp travel. Old Shatter Hands had rightly called for a Ta'Yon, literally translated to 'Sword-Hunt.' 

The Ta'Yon calls for the Cadre to be split into smaller teams, who then patrol the parameter in stealth, hunting down their enemies. It's used when enemy forces are scattered and in disarray. Little known to most Shas'la, its origins hark back to the days of the Mont'au. 

On the this night, Old Shatter Hands had called for stealth among the teams over brute force. He wanted no casualties and no loss of kit. Only his Water-Caste advisors knew too, that he had also agreed to let Kills-In-Water's Kroot Warriors to lead the hunt.     

That's right, another Combat Patrol Tournament is coming up next Tuesday. I love these little tournaments as you get three games in in about 3 hours. Perfect!

The parameters of this tournament are even more restrictive than before. They have banned all units with an armor value, that means no vehicles. For the first time in a really long time, I've going to have field my fire warriors on foot. When building my list I knew I wanted Kroot and Stealth Suits. These two units could work together as an infiltrating force or outflank together for devastating results. With the board filled with only infantry, those burst cannons are going to be brutal. I also decided that Sniper Drones were definitely in. Not only did they compliment the stealthy nature of this force, but they added some much needed long range and AP3 fire. 

My patrol consists of 2 teams of 8 Fire Warriors with Shas'Ui and Markerlight, 10 Kroot, Sniper Drones and 5 Stealth Suits. The shooting phase will have to be very controlled. I want my Stealth Team to be in position to fire with at least 1 markerlight in support, ideally 2. Getting volume of fire is always preferable against infantry so the Stealth Team is probably going to be using up the markerlights rather than the Sniper Drones. 

It should be a fun little tournament and a welcome change of pace for the big tournaments I've been playing.  


Sholto said...

I make that 500 points, which is more than regular Combat Patrol - is that right?

Without transports of any kind, footslogging armies will be looking for speed. I would expect to see lots of bikes and jump infantry. If it is played on a 4'x4' table, outflanking is much more valuable than usual.

You should be fine, provided you can keep your sniper drones and stealth suits firing as long as possible. Best of luck!

Old Shatter Hands said...

@Sholto, yep its 500 points. Good advice too. I was kind of thinking that there aren't enough points to bring a lot of bikers but actually, there are.

Battle reports to follow!

Pete W said...

Sounds like it will be a good time OSH. I look forward to seeing how a footslogging Tau army turns out.

Maybe it will give you a new perspective on fire warriors.

The Brotha said...


When I had my Tau Army I never lost any combat patrol games with them. I used fire-knife suits with Fire warriors.

I like your set up. I can see you getting in trouble if someone turbo boosts right at you with everything...

Oh and why the ban on vehicles? Were speeders dominating or something?

Kroxitau said...

I have yet to play any combat patrol missions. That sounds pretty fun though. I like the Stealth Suit paint job by the way.
I would be tempted to take big squads of drones to give my fire warrior squads some cover during enemy shooting, then JSJ behind during my shooting phase. It would be weird not taking FW in devilfish

Anonymous said...

Ah, I love Combat Patrol! I like the idea of running no vehicles, too. It sounds like it should be fun and with your list, I'd think you should be able to do well.

It'll be neat to see how many Ork/Nid mini-hordes and IG weapons teams you end up encountering :)

CJ said...

eheheh I would so take a but load of Jetbikes.

2 x 7 Jetbikes 2 schurikan cannons

1 x 6 Jetbikes 2 shurikan cannons

18 S6 shots and speed lovely.

But your list is really nice and scarry 2 outflanking units at 500 points is nasty :)Good luck and be sure to report you overpowering victories :D

Cheers CJ

Old Shatter Hands said...

Dang CJ that would be frigging awesome. You'd dominate!

CJ said...

hahaha not really I suspect your tactical brilliance would run me over with more speed them my jetbikes can muster.

even though I'm all ready having some sneaky thoughts :). using one unit for cover turboboosting them back and forth and jumping the other units behind them after shooting giving me a lot of awesome saves :). anyways I hope you dont run into something like that. Ravenwing would also be nasty I guess. HB attackbikes would be scarry.

Cheers CJ

Fehdman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fehdman said...

What a nice piece of fluff to go w/ your patrol, can't wait to hear the results. These rules posted anywhere? Any other limits other than the standard combat patrol restrictions + no vehicles? My friends and I were thinking of running just such a mission this weekend.

Old Shatter Hands said...

@Fehdman, thanks for reading my fluff. I've got other little fluffy bits here and there in this blog.

Combat patrol rules were printed in the 4th edition rulebook and we've brought them over to fifth by introducing objectives to the missions rather than victory points.

Unfortunately I got there too late to join in the tournament. It started without me after all that! Oh well, I got in one game with an Ork patrol of 68 orks. Alas my Tau were overwhelmed. Orks are the kings of combat patrol I'm afraid.

On top of getting there late, I lost all my pictures when I tried to transfer the files to my computer from my camera! I guess it wasn't meant to be.

CJ said...

what a bummer OSH. I can imagine you were really looking forward to this tournament. And I cna honostly say I was pretty intrerested how your army would fare. well hoping next time will be better for you!

Cheers CJ