Thursday, August 19, 2010

Jawaballs vs. Old Shatter Hands Battle Report

The NOVA Open kicked off on Friday night with the "Whiskey Challenge" and open gaming for folks staying in the hotel. It was largely reserved for people who were travelling to the Open from far-flung places along the east coast. I had no intention of joining the guys, as a four-round tournament was quite enough for one weekend, until Mike Brandt called me up and asked if I wanted to play Jawaballs. Not one to turn a challenge down, I heartedly accepted and broke the bad news to my wife.

I brought my NOVA list that a couple friends worked with me to develop. It's a totally new way for me to play Tau being an all-foot list when I had previously gone for a mobile Mechanized Cadre. Here it is:

1 Ethereal
1 Shas'El Commander with Twin-linked Missile Pods, Flamer and Hard Wired Target Lock. 

Crisis Team - Deathrain
1 Shas'Ui Teamleader with Twin-linked Missile Pods, Flamer and Hard Wired Drone Controller
2 Shas'Ui with Twin-linked Missile Pods, Flamer
2 Gun Drones

Crisis Team - Fireknife 
1 Shas'Ui Team Leader with Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Multitracker and Hard Wired Drone Controller
2 Shas;Ui with Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Multitracker 
2 Gun Drones

Crisis Team - Fireknife 
1 Shas'Ui Team Leader with Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Multitracker and Hard Wired Drone Controller
2 Shas;Ui with Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Multitracker 
2 Gun Drone

6 Fire Warriors
Devilfish with Burst Cannon, Disruption Pod

6 Fire Warriors
Devilfish with Burst Cannon, Disruption Pod

10 Fire Warriors

10 Kroot, 5 Hounds

10 Kroot, 5 Hounds

Piranha with Fusion Blaster

Piranha with Fusion Blaster

Piranha with Fusion Blaster

Broadside Team with Advanced Stabilization System
1 Shas'Ui Team Leader with Drone Controller
2 Shas'Ui
2 Shield Drones

Broadside Team with Advanced Stabilization System
1 Shas'Ui Team Leader with Drone Controller
1 Shas'Ui
2 Shield Drones

I don't have Jawa's list but it was something like this:
4 Razorbacks with Lascannons and Twin-Linked Plasma
3 Predators with Lascannon Sponsors and an Autocannon Turret
1 Land Raider Crusader carrying Assault Terminators, a Priest in Terminator Armor, a Reclusiarch, and a Librarian. 

We rolled for our missions using the NOVA Format and got Dawn of War and Victory Points as the win condition. I won the die roll and let Jawa go first. 

With Dawn of War as the mission deployment I decide to go second. I need Jawaballs to set up his tanks and rush them towards me. Nearly all of my heavy hitters have acute senses so I'm hopeful to be able to see through the darkness and score some hits. Jawa sets up some tanks as his basic deployment and I set up my Kroot Carnivores in either corner to help form two fire bases. So I've got kroot walls protecting my forces behind them and loads of long range fire power. I set up my corners something like this in the picture below.

In Jawa's turn 2 he rushes his tanks to take cover from incoming fire behind a large building in the center of the board as shown in the picture here. I curse the man who set up the terrain and expect the worse (by the way for the rest of the tournament, I am plagued by giant buildings, bastions and rocks set up directly in the middle of the board, allowing force to advance on me without taking fire).

A squad of Assault Marines disembark their Razorback and the tank spins around to charge one of my fire bases, then pops smoke. His Predators which are set up on one flank, all open fire on my Broadside, one managed to knick a drone and kill it, causing a morale check (note to self: attach my commander to this squad in future games). The check fails. I check line of sight to my Ethereal, good. I roll again, I fail again, Broadsides run off the board and back to the battledome. Curses!

My shooting manages to take out two Razorbacks but Jawa is on my right flank about to pounce on my Kroot. His Assault squads jump from their Razorbacks and pounce on my Kroot wall and attached Commander.  The flank collapses the next turn but I have put a hurting on his two assault squads wiping one out and rendering the second combat-ineffective. Jawa's force turn to face my firebase on the left flank. His Land Raider swings around the corner but is destroyed by a Piranhas' Fusion Blaster. The match turns into a quagmire as we both try our best to collect victory points. His Terminators are continually blocked by Piranhas and worthless Gun Drones until they begin taking casualties. Soon they give up their assault and move to hide behind the ruined building. My Crisis Suits then scoot out to make a final round of shooting, killing the last two of the terminators. To claim some more VPs, my Broadsides take aim on his two Predator tanks on their side army. I am sure I can penetrate, all I need is for Jawaballs to make a Jawaroll and fail his saves. I take the shots, hit, penetrate but Jawa makes all three saves! Lucky git. 

We determine VPs, the winner needs more than 250 points to win and Jawa scores 269 more VPs than I. Victory Blood Angels. 
While I lost, this game taught me some important lessons about my new army list that help me in the rest of the NOVA Open. First off there is no need for my Commander to join any Kroot squads as shooters tend to ignore them anyway. Second, Piranhas need to be set up in the middle of my deployment zone so they can move out to protect either firebase from advancing forces. Next time Jawaballs, you won't be so lucky, hurr hurr.  


Kirby said...

Pretty armies <3.

The thoughts at the bottom with attaching your commander and Piranha positioning are excellent points.

Pre-lim matches are always a good way to get into the groove before the tournament, especially when you lose.

How did the 3 squads of FW end up doing over the tournament?

Marshal Wilhelm said...

lol ~ Mike said on YTTH that some people were unhappy with terrain, I never thought it'd be you :P

I have heaps of questions, I hope it is not too negative or interrogating :D

You went with multi trackers on your FireKnives? I thought you were going to try the targeting arrays?

Why did you take the Ethereal?! They're for show, not go ~ lol

If you had put the Commander with the Broadsides, it'd be the Kroot who ran off, Murphy's law. That would have exposed your Suits to being charged, etc.
or do you think the Commander will work well in the back field?
Without mobility, will his MP actually be in range of the enemy, due to being stuck in the backfield?

Failing a re-rolled Ld8 is: 26/36 or 72.2% [without re-roll] and 92.3% with the re-roll.
What do you think about setting them up 12" from your edge? - that would give you another chance in the future, or would that put them into danger?

3x FW and no Pathfinders, who'd have helped your torrent firing FireKnives. How did you find the FWs?

Close game. You'll have to get him next time, for his greater good ;)

AutarchAndrew said...

looked like a fun game ill try to hit up nova next year.You coming to mechanicon shatter?

Sholto said...

I would love to see more pics from that game - got any?

Sounds like it was close. Did you regret deploying in two corners? I only ask because I would probably have split my deployment as well.

Who did you attach the Ethereal to? If I take one, I usually attach him to the Broadsides to make them Fearless.

Sounds like your blocking units did their jobs, though. Did you feel overwhelmed at any point by the Blood Angels, or do you think Tau can still cut it even with more unusual lists like this one?

Old Shatter Hands said...

@Kirby, the fire warriors were there to babysit the ethereal and could have been more useful with better deployment. I tended to put them in the back a lot but they did what I asked of them. The Devilfish squads were there to claim objectives and quarters which they did OK I guess. My objectives game was against guard and they had melta freaking everywhere and little troops all over the place so I lost that game. oh well. C'est la vie. I had no delusions about winning this tournament so I wasn't disappointed.

The ethereal was a huge asset to me the entire tournament. Morale is an problem and he helps keep the Shas'la on the board. Las/Auto Preds are all the rage these days and then tend to knick battlesuits just enough to cause a morale check, having the ethereal helps ensure my units will stick around because I am dangerously close to board edges most of the time. He was only fired at once and was largely ignored by the enemy as there are other more important threats out there. He attached to 10 fire warriors for 10 fearless ablative wounds. only got killed when I was tabled by Daemons and he was the last to die. (that batrep will come soon). The Ethereal is also important because of "boo" powers that have shown up. Things like "fear the darkness" can really mess up a Tau army.

I can't seem to get pathfinders to jive with my playstyle so I'm leaving them at home from now on.

I think the split deployment was a good plan. It would have worked if I had passed that damn morale check. Ethereal goes with the 10 fire warriors.

Jawa's list wasn't an optimized BA list. It was certainly good, but I've faced harder lists. he didn't have Mephiston. Land Raiders are a "soft" unit in my opinion. Jawa's a good enough player that he can make a list like that work though, however I think what won him this game were my mistakes.

I only feel overwhelmed by blood angels when they have 11 vehicles. My friend consistently tables me with his 5 pred/6 rhino + Mephiston list.