Monday, March 1, 2010

When a draw feels like a win!

Scrolling back through pictures from tournaments I was in over a year ago, I found pics of one particular battle that while it ended in a draw, it felt like a personal victory. Back then I was fielding an army that was sub-optimal but I was going for Best Painted at the time, which I won.

 I had spied an Imperial Guard army  in the opening round and begged the ethereals not to be assigned to fight it. I couldn't believe the amount of tanks this guy could pack in. Granted this was played at 2250 point but even so, I knew I would get wrecked by the sheer weight of fire power. As a Tau, there is only one thing I fear, it's not close combat armies or outflankers, it's army that can out-shoot me. To my horror, when the matchings were annouced I would be fighting this huge metallic behemoth on my own.


Mission was seize ground (counters were our troops models) and first thing I took note of his troops choices that had been minimized, mounted in Chimeras. I had another advantage on my side that I was not aware of at first, fear. Old Shatter Hands and his Cadre were a new foe to this player and he feared the fire power and technology at the disposal of Old Shatter more than I feared his. It was the reputation of Tau firepower that helped me pull out a draw.

As we rolled for deployment, my opponent won and in wishing to get an alpha strike to cripple my forces, he chose first turn. He wanted to fire at me first. As it was a pitched battle deployment and his force was large, he was forced to deploy in a long gun-line. I instantly knew I would have to choose a flank and strike at half of his army while the other half re-positioned. Mind you the board was noticeably sparse on terrain, so his fire power could potentially wipe me out by turn 3 if I let him have his way.

Old Shatter Hands studied the battlefield and data feeds of the opposing forces from his Manta Destroyer. He called the fio'la to cloak the army and strike when necessary. Priority targets: APCs and infantry. I put my entire army in reserve and told myself that if I took out the troops I could pull a draw or a win against insurmountable odds.

The plan worked. My opponent milled about and repositioned for 2 turns. When it was time for forces to arrive, I knew where to strike. Deathrains targeted the chimeras and stealth suits went for the troopers pouring out. In his shooting phases, I took horrendous casualties. Vandettas and Manticores took out my Hammerheads. The Broadsides were nailed by plasma fire from Leman Russes. I spent most of my time removing models. This didn't matter though. I mentioned earlier that fear played a f\huge role in this game. He was so focussed on getting rid of my dreaded tanks and battlesuits, he inadvertently left my Fire Warriors unharmed and claiming two objectives. Unfortunately, he was able to hold one objective and contest one of mine, ending the game in a draw.

Old Shatter Hands cheered his comrades on. We had not gained position but the Cadre had held off the enemy! Sometimes a draw is a personal victory when 5th edition armies like this face off against a Tau list with Shadowsun (aka huge points sink).

15 comments:

Sholto said...

I love your army. Can you leave it to me in your will? Please answer before that ticking sound you can hear stops... ;)

Just looking at that IG army gives me the sweats, especially since your own army was not really optimised (only two Broadsides!). Well played.

Did Shadowsun survive and did she manage to kill any armour?

Old Shatter Hands said...

LOL! I'll consider it. An army like this really requires constant maintenance though. I was looking at them last week at the club and I really need to update some things before this Tuesday's club meeting.

I'm trying to remember what happened to Shadowsun. From what I remember, she arrived late and got plasma'd to death by that Leman Russ Squadron. Those tanks were pumping out 5 or 7 plasma blasts per turn. It was ugly. Reserving your entire army is the only solution.

suneokun said...

Great recap ... I run both Guard and Tau armies and the Tau are really struggling now.

That said, like Necrons, Tau rock in APOC. Suddenly all those long range railguns, stealth tech and markerlight get nasty!

Jonathan said...

Unpainted tourney armies suck. Unpainted AND unassembled is just unacceptable. He deserved to lose simply by bringing that steaming pile to the table...

ehemkeh said...

I like the whole army in reserve trick, I may use that one :o)

I haven't tried a ninja Tau list yet (using the posiitonal relay), but that seems sort of cheesy to try to do a turn 5 rush.

Shas'O D'Narb said...

I agree with a fair bit of what I see written on this blog, and I've even learned a little bit too, I never treat a draw as even a moral victory. Even if I'm training or facing a superior army, it's an abject failure on my part to win.

I'm far from perfect but my goals aren't. I want to utterly dominate my games and make it fun for both myself and my opponent. I want to avoid the stinking thinking that can breed complacency in my gaming.

Old Shatter Hands said...

@Shas'O D'Narb, right on ya! Your style of play is totally acceptable.I wouldn't play againmst someone who didn't go for the win every time.
When I face armies like this, I do my best to win but in this case, the odds were against me in so many ways. I was happy with a draw: an accomplishment when your facing IG cheese. I strive to enjoy the game in any case, win, lose or draw. I don't take this game of toy soldiers too seriously.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I followed your blog for a long time and like your excellent articles. I recently had a tournament with 1919 points (strange I know) and played against the imperial guard two times and reduced both of them to roughly 200 points with losses at the 300 point marks. Both got 7 tanks and pumped points into special characters. Classic armoured advance style of play with occasional outflanking units. I had to paint shadowsun to fill up my points and the rest of the cadre was standard mechanized with some AT Crisis.
I think these (unexpectedly)good results came from a very effective little trick, (which i have to admit is a little risky) I flanked a pathfinder fish behind enemy lines to deepstrike shadowsun and my melta crisis in, also behind the enemys line. I made sure the devilfish tank shocked some troops and the pathfinders which were armed with emp grenades disembarked. Stealthsuits also outflanked. Each element of my army targeted another tank to ensure a minimum of return fire on my deepstriking units (sthealths targeted chimera side amrour, pathifinders disabled basilisk etc). My opponents advances were halted before they began and they had to get rid of my deepstriking units before they could target my troops, otherwise I could have rendered them unable even faster. And if they turn their tanks to face the threat they will expose their rear armour. In addition to this I imagine it is a real shock to see your tanks explode one after another and having so many enemies in ones base. I really recommend this "overloading deepstrike tactic" to anyone having trouble with imperial guard but it might be possible that it only works in large battles where the deepstrikers and flankers can do more damage to the enemies plan as the enemy can do to yours in destroying them. Sorry for the essay ;)

Hussar said...

Cheers on the win mate ^^
Kinda sucks playing against unpainted armies, but good work on the draw! He wasn't using the best list i've seen, but it looks half decent at least ^^
So good work with the draw, since Tau are really struggling nowadays :/

Anonymous:
As in IG player I can tell you right now that deepstriking overload relly isn't something we Mech-IG fear. With clever deployment on the terrainpacked tables of 5th Edition you can most of the time make it to dangerous for the enemy to attempt to deepstrike all to close to your lines ^^

And sharing some IG knowledge, pumping pts into SC's and Basilisks is a waste of pts, and 7 tanks in 1919pts (yes, quite a wierd number ^^) isn't really all to mcuh ^^

Anyways, that's a real good looking army mate, keep up the good work! ^^

Cheers ^^

Firewasp said...

I just had a game like that with my Tau against a plague marine player. First time I played him I lost horribly. This time it was a draw. But at the end of the game he was out-gunned and played out.
http://ignatum.blogspot.com/2010/02/battle-report-tau-vs-death-guard.html
For the battle report if your interested.

Pearlygates said...

If there truly is one thing I can't stand the sight of, it's an unpainted army at a tournement! some places here in england will allow an army into a tournement if its atleast undercoated; here in Southampton, you need every model to have atleast three colours on it!

I totally forgot you had Shadowsun in your army OSH, though I don't think I've ever read a Batrep of you using her since I've been reading your blog.

I've gone from not liking Shadowsun to using her in most of the games I've been playing lately! She is now the new fear for my friends when they play against my Tau; knowing that she'll deepstrike in behind a tank and melt it, while her Network/marker drone fires a seeker from a Skyray right up the rear of another tank!

I'd love to see a Batrep of you using Shadowsun, but then again, I'm still waiting for you to field your Pathfinders you said a while back that you were itchung to field again! :-)

Old Shatter Hands said...

Pearly, you may be in luck. Tomorrow I am planning on a game with my buddy where I'll be fielding an army completely unlike anything else I've fielded in a long time. I'm calling it a stealth-marker army for the time being.

Pearlygates said...

I'm already eager to read it! so you better be including pictures for me!!!!!!!

Firewasp said...

Pearly, From what I've noticed, unpainted armies seem to be a clear indicator of 'flavour-of-the-month-internet-list-power-gamer' (or someone that can't be arsed to paint :oP)
The Bracknell forest gamers use a three colour system for their tournaments. The 'A small matter of honour' tournament run by sad muppets society requires the same. looks like quite a good tournament to.

Anonymous said...

at hussar:

thanks for the view of an imperial players on this tactic. As I said, I think the main advantage, once the troops arrive where they are needed, lies in the surprise.
There are many players that play their army the same, like against any other foe or dont notice what i can do with a marker beacon and a lot of deepstriking units when they look at my list, so they do not spread out or avoid table edges. But yeah, intelligent players will analyse their opponents list exactly and develope counter tactics.

On a side note: is it possible to combine creed and chenkov to create an ever outflanking and returning conscript platoon?