Looking forward to the batrep. Tau are what cozened me back into the hobby when I was getting a bit bored so they have a special place in my heart
+1 on the Fireknives. Iconic.
Just for you Flinty, and several months later as predicted - I've finally written up the batrep from MARCH!
Way back in March It was my birthday. I had mostly finished 1k of my current T’au project, and my regular 40k
buddy Randy McStab had also finished a squad of SM
Reivers and some more SM
Scouts. We had previously talked about taking a morning off and playing/photographing a small narrative game so it seemed reasonable to dive into some of the content from Chapter Approved ‘18 as we were keen to try the expanded Cities of Death rules for cover etc.
Randy also committed to doing a stellar job of painting the terrain from the Kill Team starter in time for our game.
I have now finally got around to sorting through the photos and putting something together and so may I present...
Village of Light Injury – Relief Force (a Cities of Death narrative battle report)
“Pathfinder Shas’Ui Watana inhaled slowly and deeply as the rest of her team moved quietly into position. She could taste on her breath the acrid tang of the tall, green-needled trees that dotted the Cadre’s rally point; it was an unfamiliar sensation which pulled her mind back to thoughts of the ghost-like Xenos force that she knew had been stalking her Cadre for many ‘Rota.
Watana glanced across to the right of the cramped ruin and watched as the taciturn and heavily armoured XV15 team finished making adjustments to their kit and began setting up the orbital beacon.
Suddenly, and as one, the XV15s froze. A moment later four of the team blinked into shadow leaving only the team’s Vre visible. Watana barely had time to decipher the ‘Vre’s hand signals before he too engaged his optical camouflage and dissolved in a cascade of pixelated light.
The Gue’Ron’Sha predators had found them”.
Mission – Relief Force (CA18 CoD
Narrative). This is an asymmetric scenario where defenders are tasked with holding a central ruin initially with only a small portion of their force against the attacker’s full (and potentially flanking) strength. Additional defender units enter the battle from turn 2 on a roll of 3+.
House Rules – Not loads but we generally count the footprint of several small groups of trees as area terrain.
Playing Area and forces – The battle played out on a 6’x4’ with medium ruin and woodland terrain (although we were using CoD
We agreed that my Tau would consist of models I had painted and that Randy’s force would be made up of Scouts, Rievers and light floating things. Approx. 1k points each:
Attacker – Ultramarines Scout Force:
[Warlord – Adept of the Codex] Sgt. Telion.
Lieutenant with Primarch’s Wrath (relic bolter) and Axe.
10 Scouts with cloaks, 9 Rifles and a Missile Launcher.
10 Scouts with Shotgun/Axe (Sgt.), 2 Shotguns, 6 CCW
and a Heavy Bolter.
10 Scouts with Bolter and Sword (Sgt.), 8 Bolters and a Heavy Bolter.
6 Reivers with Grapnel, HB
Pistol and CCW
Land Speeder with H Bolter and H Flamer.
Land Speeder Storm with H Bolter.
Stormtalon with Twin AC
Defender – T’au Sept Infantry Cadre:
[Warlord – Exemplar of Mont’ka] XV8 Commander with Iridium Armour, Vectored Thrusters, 2 CIBs
and 2 F Blasters.
Cadre Fireblade with PENchip (-1 CP
9 Breachers with 1 Shield Drone and Guardian Drone.
9 Strikers with Rifles (‘Ui has a Carbine).
9 Strikers with Rifles (‘Ui has a Carbine).
5 Strikers with Rifles and a SMS
5 XV15s with 2 shield drones (‘Vre has a F Blaster).
7 Pathfinders with 1 Ion Rifle, 1 Rail Rifle, 2 Shield Drones, Pulse Drone, Grav Drone and Recon Drone.
1 Devilfish with Gun Drones.
1 Hammerhead with Railgun and SMS
As per the scenario, I had to select two infantry units to deploy in the ruined building which was to be the objective. I went for my Pathfinders because they had a large drone unit attached, and the XV15 team who are notoriously difficult to dig out of cover (and would be able to use the ‘finders’ drones for ablative wounds. I prepared my Commander for Manta Strike, and the rest of my force would be walking on from turn 2 onwards.
Randy deployed his sniper Scouts centre right in woodland, his bolter scouts on his centre left, and five of the CCW
scouts embarked in the Storm and facing the objective. The remaining HB
combat squad took cover on Randy’s far right in front of the Stormtalon. The Ultramarine Lt. and Telion stood bravely in the open so their commanding presence could be felt by the two large scout squads. On Randy’s left flank were the Landspeeder and Reivers.
The Ultramarine attackers took the first turn…
The Space Marines begin the laborious task of clearing out multiple drones from the ruin. The Reivers advance towards the target ruin through parallel cover and both ‘speeders head to its base in preparation for an assault.
The Stormtalon strafes the front of the ruin as it moves across the Ultramarine’s left flank.
Even under the watchful eye of Sgt. Telion and the encouraging roars of the Lt., the combined fire of Randy’s force is unable to clear the wall of protective drones. The XV15 and Pathfinder teams are left relatively unscathed and ready to answer the Marines’ opening volley.
Leaving their shield drones sparking and smoking on the ground, the Stealth Team boost up to the ruined roof of the objective building, delivering heavy damage to the Landspeeder. The Pathfinders further damage the ‘speeder while repositioning in preparation of the inevitable charge from Randy’s Scouts.
The Tau will have to weather another blistering fusillade before they can expect their relief force to arrive…
Goaded by promises of organic engine oil from its crew, the Landspeeder’s Machine Spirit pulls the vehicle’s smoking chassis away from the Stealth Team’s heavy weapon.
Confident in the disembarking Scouts’ ability to decisively provide the Pathfinders with ‘the good news’, the majority of the Astartes guns are pointed at the Stealth Team. Hard Cover (thanks to Cities of Death) and the coruscating nimbus of the Xenos stealth tech result in only light damage!
The Pathfinders are not so lucky as shotgun shells and explosive bolts churn into the ruins, but as the Scouts charge in they are cut down by ion and rail fire, as well as plunging burstcannon rounds from the ruins above!
Once the dust has settled the surviving Pathfinders break and run…
Randy’s Reivers move out into the open as they close on the objective and the ‘Talon moves deeper into the Tau right flank, hunting for the Xenos relief force.
As the clouds part, Shas’O’Bese descends heroically from the sky and takes position on the Ultramarines’ left flank. The XV15s jump away from the objective ruin, ready to support their Commander.
The battlesuits split their fire, wrecking the Speeder...
...but only slaying a single Reiver. O’Bese is wounded when one of his weapons overheats.
Additional relief arrives in the form of a Devilfish packed with a frustrated Breacher Team which screams down the Ultramarines’ right flank.
A team of missile turret-equiped Firewarriors and the Cadre’s Fireblade also move into position.
Presented with the juiciest of targets, the Stormtalon vectors its strafing run straight towards the Tau Commander and combined with the heavy fire of Scout snipers (using the ‘Master Snipers’ stratagem no less), brings him close to death!
Viz magazine – it’s like 3 quid an issue now! Thanks Obama.
The Landspeeder Storm zooms right into the Tau lines and blasts one of the DS8 team Firewarriors.
The Reivers continue their advance toward the objective building and take cover out of LOS
ready for the next wave of Tau reinforcements. Telion and the Lt. continue to support the Scout gunline and put additional pressure on the XV15 team.
“Tau Va!” Two units of Firewarriors rush into the AO desperate to protect their Commander from the aircraft screaming overhead.
Shas’O’Bese activates his automated repair system and boosts into melta range while his warriors attempt to distract the Stormtalon…
...which manages to remain airborne (or jams according to the photo).
XV15s take a flanking position and rake the Reivers with burst fire but they are protected by thick Mark X armour (and perhaps their terrifying visage?).
The DS8 team hold position and target the approaching Storm while their drone turret sends a barrage of smart missiles into the Reivers, again failing to leave a mark!
Meanwhile on the Ultramarine’s right, the Breachers disembark but score few kills due to extreme range. Their Devilfish flanks the Scouts and rams through the trees towards them.
As the sun sets over the ruined village, victory seems certain for the Marines…
Although badly damaged and belching smoke, the Storm Talon finally dispatches Shas’O’Bese and turns its Assault Cannon towards the Firewarriors.
Deploying their grappling hooks, the Reivers achieve their mission and take the objective ruin! Now they just need to hold it…
Unaware of the late hour the Breachers single-mindedly assault the Scouts with point-blank Pulse Blasters – ouch!
While the Devilfish and its Drones race towards the centre ruin and cause light damage to the Reivers holding it.
In a last ditch effort to clear the objective the Tau infantry and their Cadre Fireblade pour rapid-fire pulse rounds into the Reivers but the hulking man-monsters hold fast!
Phew - I think the write-up was more exhausting than the game itself. it was fun and frustrating - a very difficult scenario for Tau with so few units starting and such a big element of chance for reserves coming in - did anyone spot the complete adscence of my Railhead? Quite a large part of a 1k force never deoployed due to bad luck. I'm pretty sure we played it correctly and there is no 'comes on automatically by T 3/4 kind of rule.
Well I hope you enjoyed - great work by Randy McStab for painting the Killteam ruins up so beautifully and so quickly.