Round two of the Conflict GT. I'm coming off a draw with Fritz and matched up against Bill and his Pred-Spam Blood Angels Army. 6 preds of various configuration and 5 scoring 5-man Assault Squads in Rhinos and Razorbacks, lead by a Librarian with Fear the Darkness and some other power that wasn't used in the battle.
This kind of list is difficult to use in my experience. I ran a list like a couple times and I noticed that once a few preds get whacked, it's potency is significantly diminished. Yet still I had to respect the fact this army was one of the few that could exploit poor leadership in a foot-list like mine. The tanks can shock my infantry who don't carry any melta and fear the darkness can force morale checks at a -2 penalty. Psychological warfare at its best!
The mission was a special one made by the TO. The win condition is having more scoring units in your opponents half of the table. I had 4 total scoring units, he had 5, all in transports.
With pitched battle deployment, my opponent won the roll-off, took first turn and set up on a refused flank to my left. I knew was going to have to get clear shots on his tanks so I set a squad of 2 broadsides on the top floor of some ruin on my right, and then set up the bulk of my force toward the center forming a battle line with kroot strung out in front. I infiltrated a pack of kroot carnivores on his table edge to my right, well out of harm's way. One thing could threaten them, an outflanking Baal Pred with flame cannon.
Turn 1, the armored column advanced forward, with 2 baals screening the weaker transports. He takes a couple shots but little damage is sustained by the finest of Tau'n. At this point, he has 5 scoring units in my half or close to it and I have one in his.
My turn 1, I send my piranhas out to intercept the wall of tanks and adjust my forces for the shooting phase. The carnivores in his half just sit there. In the shooting phase, I get off a couple markers and destroy a Baal, then immobile and stun another. My Deathrains manage to immobilize a rhino and stun a razorback or two. I then reposition everything in the assault phase for protection.
Turn 2, his transports move up some more so now they are in my deployment zone on my left, and behind this very large terrain piece I can't see through. His shooting is largely ineffective and his outflanking Baal doesn't show up yet. His Librarian pops out of a rhino hatch and shoots my Kroot front-line with Fear the Darkness. I need to roll a 5 or better, and I fail. The Kroot fall back but only about 6 inches or so.
In my turn the Kroot rally, and I start to pummel him some more with fire power. I can't remember what exactly I killed but this shooting phase is very productive. I think I wreck at least 2 more preds. My kroot move up 3 as their rally move and I start to re-adjust my line so I can run pop-out attacks from around the terrain, to get at his transports. My Devilfish start to move into his half of the table.
Turn 3 or something, the Baal Pred outflanks right on my infiltrating Kroot! He shocks them, they pass. He flames them, and whiffs on the to-wound rolls, 3 ONES! Yes. The kroot hold their position. But then my front-line Kroot are once again threatened by Fear...they fail their morale, and flee some more, but only a few inches. Yes!
My retailiation. I unleash a hail of fire a railguns at the Blood Angels tanks. The outflanking Baal get immobilized and a railgun blasts it's flamestorm cannon clear off. The rest of the Preds are either wrecked or neutered and I get some shots off on his transports from behind the hill. My kroot assault the outflanking Baal and then spend 2-3 turns trying to destroy it.
Turn 4, Bill gets mad at my Crisis Suits and summons the fear once again. My crisis suits, this time, fail and flee 3d6, rolling an 16 or something and run off the board. Blasted! This continues until the end of the game when I have zero crisis suits left!
At this point, I'm just trying to kill scoring units while my firepower is getting diminished by Fear every turn. Bill's scoring units are hunkered down, all hiding behind a hill. But they can't hide from Smart Missiles! Eventually I manage to knock out 2 squads of assault marines leaving him with only 3 left. The game ends with my Kroot and 2 squads of Fire Warriors in his half and 3 5-man Assault Squads in my half.
Fear the Darkness had removed 3 squads of Crisis Suits from the game. It's almost too good against Tau...but only Tau. For 3 reasons: poor leadership, jetpack equipped models falling back 3d6 and the Tau perchance for keeping close to the long table edge.
Bill ended up getting my vote for favorite opponent. He was a challenging player and maintained a friendly demeanor and even joked with me quite a bit. Great game, Bill, I can't wait to meet you again on the tabletop and at the bar for a beer!