Battle Report: Astra Militarum vs. Tau (1,500 pts)

A particularly long evening at the shop last night, as the Guard and Tau fought tooth and nail in “The Relic” at 1,500 points.  AWH brought the Tau list in preparation for Astronomi-con Toronto.

Without further ado, here are…

The Combatants:

Astra Militarum (1,500 pts):

Pask Punisher: Punisher Cannon, Lascannon, 2x Multi-Melta, Camo Netting
Demolisher Russ: Hull Heavy Bolter, Camo Netting
(440 pts)

Primaris Psyker: ML1 (50 pts)

Platoon Command Squad: 2x Sniper Rifles, Lascannon
Infantry Blob Squad: 3x Autocannons (234 pts)

Vet Squad 1: 2x Melta, Chimera w/ Hull Heavy Flamer (145 pts)

Vet Squad 2: 2x Melta, Chimera w/ Hull Heavy Flamer (145 pts)

Vet Squad 3: 2x Plasma, Chimera w/ Hull Heavy Flamer (155 pts)

Hellhound: Hull Heavy Flamer (125 pts)

Armoured Sentinels: 3x Plasma Cannons (150 pts)

Aegis Line (50 pts)

Tau Empire (~1520 pts?)

Darkstrider (100 pts)

Ethereal (50 pts)

Fire Warrior Team: 12x Pulse Carbines (108 pts)
Devilfish: Disruption Pod, Gun Drones (95 pts)

Fire Warrior Team: 12x Pulse Rifles (108 pts)

Kroot: 10x Kroot Rifles & Kroot Hound (65 pts)

Stealth Team: 4x Burst Cannons (120 pts)

XV104 Riptide: Ion Accelerator, TL Fusion Blaster (185 pts)

Piranha Squadron (2): Fusion Blasters, Gun Drones (100 pts)

Tetra Scout Speeder Squadron (3) (150 pts?)

XV88 Broadside Team (2): Shas’vre, 2x Missile Drones, TL-High Yield Missile Pods, TL-Smart Missile System (164 pts)

Skyray Missile Defense Gunship: Disruption Pod, TL-Smart Missile System (130 pts)

Hammerhead Gunship: Disruption Pod, Submunition Rounds, TL- Smart Missile System (145 pts)


Tau Deploy first, and is pretty self-explanatory.  Stealth suits infiltrated into the woods at the Tau's left, Guard's right flank.  Kroot and Darkstrider are held in reserve for out-flanking.
Tau Deploy first, and is pretty self-explanatory. Stealth suits infiltrated into the woods at the Tau’s left, Guard’s right flank. Kroot and Darkstrider are held in reserve for out-flanking.
Pask and Demolisher deploy hard left to counter broadsides, Chimeras line up to storm the objective, PCS and Hellhound on right to both deny infiltrators that rock and to try to pick off the Firewarriors at the gun-line.
Pask and Demolisher deploy hard left to counter Broadsides (and to stay away from Hammer-head), Chimeras line up to storm the objective, PCS and Hellhound on right to both deny infiltrators that rock and to try to pick off the Firewarriors at the gun-line.

Tau take turn 1, and Guard fail to seize.  Handshakes, and the game is underway!

Tau Turn 1:

Tetras jump forwards and thoroughly mark the Leman Russes, who are mostly behind the Aegis line.  Concious of the camo-nets (good for a 3+ cover save!), the Tau use them to strip the cover, and proceed to whiff on everything despite a Nova Charged Ion round from the riptide, and a solid-shot Hammerhead round.

First blood comes early, with the right most Chimera being ripped to shreds by the stealth team who poached the side-armour.  The veterans inside escape largely without incident.

Piranhas flat-out to block the movement and line of sight of the Leman Russes, and the Skyray flat-outs to achieve a better firing position.

Not the first turn the Tau had hoped for…

Astra Turn 1:

Demolitions Russ moves forwards to challenge the Piranhas, but Pask orders a split-fire, letting the Punisher Cannon do the talking.  After numerous rending hits, and despite their evasive maneuvers, both of the Piranhas explode.  (In hind-sight, these should have only been wrecks, as rending hits no longer become AP2 against vehicles…)  Demolisher Russ fires at the Broadside team, killing one outright as well as one of the drones.  The blast also immobilizes one of the Tetras.  The remaining Broadside flees.

The two remaining chimeras attempt to roll forwards, however the one behind the aegis line manages to immobilize itself.  Go figure.

The plasma sentinels move forward and put a single wound on the riptide, which concludes the shooting from the left flank.

On the right, the Platoon Command Squad picks off a pair of drones with the sniper rifles, while the Hellhound rolls up and kills 3 of the 4 Stealth Suits that ripped apart the first Chimera.

Post Turn 1 Carnage...
Post Turn 1 Carnage…

All in all a good first turn, but the Tau have the lead on the merits of First Blood.

Tau Turn 2:

Reinforcements have arrived…

Tactical Genius ends the Hellhound's budding Tau-roasting career somewhat prematurely...
Tactical Genius ends the Hellhound’s budding Tau-roasting career somewhat prematurely…

Hellhound did not survive.

The two tetras abandon the immobilized one, and light up the Leman Russes once more, but the Riptide gets hot on the shot, and Hammerhead fails to do any damage.

A few guardsmen die to the remainder of the shooting, but not much else happens, short of the remaining Broadside rallying.

Astra Turn 2:

Pask lays into the immobilized Tetra, and finishes him off, while the Demolisher cannon forces the other two to jink.  The shot actually completely misses the Tetras, but scatters onto Riptide, and causes another wound.

Plasma sentinels continue to hound the Riptide, but saves are made…

The remaining firebase hiding behind the Aegis takes pot-shots, but shooting is otherwise ineffective.  Dismounted veterans did not advance for fear of the Smart Missile Systems on the tanks, which might not have been an issue because the Guard Commander should have realized that the tanks were busy hunting the Leman Russes…

Guard continue their advance behind the Leman Russes on the leftmost flank, while being beaten back on the right flank.
Guard continue their advance behind the Leman Russes on the leftmost flank, while being beaten back on the right flank.

Tau Turn 3:

The Tau continue to press their advance along the Guard’s right flank, re-boarding their Devilfish, which promptly kicks it into over-drive towards the aegis wall.  Drones and the last stealth suit kill all but one sniper from the platoon command squad, covering the transports advance.

Shooting was otherwise sparse this turn, with the markerlights from the tetras having been silenced (albeit temporarily), but the moment of the turn (and match, likely) was when the Hammerhead ripped off the Demolisher cannon from the lead Russ.  This represented the first hullpoint lost from the Russ Squadron, and what a doozie.

The Riptide used its Nova-charge on the shield this turn (for a 3+ invulnerable), anticipating extreme return fire in the following shooting phase.

Astra Turn 3:

Pask blows away the two remaining Tetras and pops smoke, while every other piece of available firepower focused on the Devilfish transport approaching the aegis wall.  Their shooting is ineffective, failing to cause any damage past the 3+ jink saves (Disruption Pods!!!).

The cowering Chimera recovers, and plows straight up the middle of the board, in an attempt to get into position to take the objective.  Snap-firing plasmaguns take a wound off of the Broadside suit.  In hindsight, this was a poor move, I would have benefited more by blocking the LOS of the firewarrior team in terrain at the Tau’s left flank, in order to be in position to take the Relic.  This likely didn’t matter at all though, as Tau blew this transport away relatively quickly the following turn…

Plasma Sentinels take more pot-shots at the rip-tide, but fail to wound…

(things get a bit fuzzy and my notes run out at this point, so my apologies to AWH if this gets away from me a bit…)

Tau Turn 4:

Kroot arrive...
Kroot arrive…

Reinforcements have arrived in the form of the out-flanking Kroot.  Combined with the now-dismounted fire warrior team and Darkstrider, they put the hurt on the Infantry platoon, causing them some problems.  The heavy weapons are gone, and the squad is cast into disarray…

Darkstrider and Company are not impressed with your Aegis Wall...
Darkstrider and Company are not impressed with your Aegis Wall… (taken moments before “the cull”)

The Chimera advancing mid-field is blown away, likely by the Broadside.  Some of the veterans inside are picked off by the advancing Firewarriors…  Midfield veterans fall back (4 remaining), and the melta veterans from the first chimera are picked clean by the drones and stealth-suit, and fall back.

A lot of fire from the is directed at the Armoured Sentinels, to no effect, as they’re in cover…

Astra Turn 4:

The Guard regroup (for the most part...)
The Guard regroup (for the most part…)

The Sentinels and Russes continue to press the advance, while the infantry regroup.  The meltavets from the first squad require insane heroism to regroup, which fails.  Hilariously, they fall back RIGHT BESIDE the firewarrior squad that annihilated a majority of the infantry platoon.

Pask directs his fire at the Riptide, and causes one more wound, due to some hot-rolling on the armour saves.  If I recall, at this point it had 2 wounds remaining…

The immobilized Chimera behind the aegis line is putting up a fight, causing more than a few casualties to the kroot when combined with the snap-fired lasgun fire from the Infantry Platoon.

Plasma Sentinels continue their advance, but fail to do much damage.  This might have been directed at the foot-warrior team on the Tau’s left.

Tau Turn 5:

The Riptide overheats on the Nova charge, leaving it with one wound remaining.  It advances on Demolisher Russ, and puts a glancing hit on the front armour with the Fusion Blaster.  It charges, opts not to smash, and completely missed on all its penetration rolls.

Firewarriors mop up the remaining infantry platoon, as Darkstrider instant kills the Primaris Psyker on a precision shot.  The rest of the squad goes down on precisely the correct number of wounds.

2014-06-09 19.30.53
Tau Commandos are doing work…

2 Hull points are removed from the immobilized Chimera, but it just doesn’t seem to want to die…  This includes a solid shot from the Hammerhead, which doesn’t make it through the Aegis wall.

Armoured Sentinels continue to make cover saves like a boss, with the Skyray getting involved now in conjunction with the Broadside.

The mid-field veterans are also completely destroyed by prowling drones, effectively ending any threat of the Guard capturing the Relic.

Astra Turn 5:

The Demolisher (gun-less) tank shocks the riptide, while Pask perforates him, effectively ending the Riptide threat.  (Review post-game revealed that the only damage the rip-tide did the entire game was knock a single hull-point off of the Demolisher Russ with the Fusion Blasters… Perhaps he got what he deserved, being Punished and run over…)

Plasma sentinels continue their advance, gunning down 5 fire warriors that are advancing on the point.  More kroot die to the immobilized Chimera, and they continue to run away…

2014-06-09 19.45.23
Stubborn Chimera won’t die, while the Russes continue to press forwards on the left flank (because why the heck not?)

The game should have ended after 5, with the Tau holding line-breaker and first blood.

HOWEVER, instead of ending the game, like most people would (because Linebreaker, Slay the Warlord, and Capturing the Relic were all effectively out of reach), we continued the game anyways, because why the heck not?!

THE REST OF THE GAME (Turns 6 & 7)

Darkstrider, the Kroot (now regrouped), Stealth Suit, and Devilfish continue to mop-up the Guard back-field.

Perhaps hilariously 3 guard veterans manage to survive the first wave (after their transport exploded), and assault and destroy 2 gun drones.  Naturally, their acts are punished in the next turn, and the squad is wiped.

Plasma Sentinels advance and assault the firewarrior squad approaching the relic, and effectively tie them up in assault for the rest of the game.  The assault results in 3 further casualties.

This is not before one of the sentinels is FINALLY brought down by one of the Tau Super-Flankers.  I seem to recall it was a pair of gun-drones hitting on the rear arc that finally got him.

Pask opened up the Punisher Cannon and causes 4 penetrating hits against the Hammerhead’s frontal armour, which is subsequently wrecked…

Just before Tau 7.
Just before Tau 7.

Demolisher Russ is brought down by a side-shot by the remaining Broadside team member with a missile, but that’s about all that’s left to do.


Tau had some really horrific rolls pertaining to the Riptide, and generally speaking had sub-par AP rolls against the Russes.  They had NO issues penetrating AV 10 however, and that’s something that the Guard player will likely have to review…

Advancing the Chimeras flat-out in first turn instead of shooting them would certainly have helped the cause a bit, but its hard to say if their pay-load would have survived even if they did.

Aegis defense lines are an art-form, that I’ll likely need to perfect.  The Guard may have been better served deploying it in the middle to preserve sight lines and not been as concerned with protecting the Russes (because they had their cover stripped all game long anyways!)

Great game to play, would definitely play with AWH again!

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