Episode 39.6: Is 40K Just Better Than Age of Sigmar and a Baby Battle Report

I've been thinking about the question I pose in the title since I got a few games of 8th Edition under my belt: is 40K just better than Age of Sigmar? It might seem like apples and oranges to some people but I don't feel that way, after all 40K is clearly inspired and takes heavily from Age of Sigmar. The games are highly similar, the major differences are Initiative, Army Composition, Shooting and Phase Order. There are of course countless small differences such as how Charges work, Character differences, Magic vs. Psychic, etc. but from a macro perspective the games are completely comparable.

When I think about it I'd always rather play 40K than AoS. 40K is significantly, significantly, more tactical and rewarding whereas AoS is much more list dependent and prone to dice happening. Initiative really drives this home as there's no way to influence the turn order, you can plan for it a bit but that makes the game feel like you're constantly hedging your bets and unable to get a plan going, unless that plan is shooting of course. I wonder why AoS is dominated by gunlines.....hmmm. AoS is also completely about synergies, these exist in every game but they reach a fevered pitch in that particular system. Think about the really dominant armies like Skyfire Spam, they take an already good unit, give it +1 to Hit, enable them to come back from the dead, and screen for them. The game just doesn't work unless everything in your army works together, which some people like but it also forces very homogenized armies and that includes the army I own.

There are also core rules in Age of Sigmar which detract tactical play, a big one is being able to shoot no matter what. In 40K you can get things into Combat and there are often penalties for moving and shooting, not so in AoS. This wouldn't be so bad if Games Workshop were willing to make some changes but it's been clear that they will not. Now the big shooting units in the game could, and probably will, get more expensive or nerfed in other ways but is that a good solution? Seems like treating the symptom instead of the disease to me. Age of Sigmar is a fantasy, heroic game which a heavy lean towards Combat...so why are bows and guns the best thing going?

Everything in Age of Sigmar also feels extremely simplified compared to 40K, I believe it's been stated that's intentional as it's more of a gateway game but it leaves people like me a bit unfulfilled. I like special rules and being able to pull off fancy maneuvers because of them, AoS doesn't often allow for this. That often creates a big stompy syndrome where both players just slap their armies into each other and find out what happens. Over my many games with the system I felt there was very little nuance, even with my Combat armies, whereas 40K seems to have more variety.

I'm not trying to say Age of Sigmar is a bad game, I think it's great fun and a very good game to get players into the genre. It also has a very high fantasy aesthetic which is a bit missing from many games, most focus on low fantasy with a brooding and dark world and that gets a bit old. Sometimes I want to exist in an age of heroism and magic, not peasants and malaria. But from a rules perspective, 40K just took AoS and made it better. Shooting is more nuanced, synergies aren't as over-tuned, there's a lot more counter-play through Strategems and the basic rules. 40K has issues, and many of them, but as a veteran miniature wargamer (what a title!) 40K is sooooo much more rewarding to sit down and play. Games Workshop even seems to be on board with this, 8th Edition has been out what...two months? and there's already been multiple balance changes via FAQ. AoS hasn't had a single one! Even their FAQs aren't fleshed out in terms of clarification and the game is clearly ont he back burner for releases.

I'm strongly considering selling off my AoS stuff. I think 40K is the better game, it has the bigger playerbase, it's more competitive, and it's just plain old more fun for me. I wish I could say I felt otherwise but it just goes to show that there are indeed levels to it, as someone once said.

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On top of my pontificating I also got a small game in today with my Orks, just 1000 Points. There's a League going on at another store for the Fate of Kantor event, which I couldn't care less about because all the Missions are boring and I'm not a big fan of another slow grow league. However one of my buddies wanted to test his list so we got a quick game in.

I took Da Rippa, a Big Mek on Warbike w/ KFF, two Weirdboys, Mad Doc Grotsnik, and three 30 man units with a Big Choppa Nob, one had two Big Shootas. Opposing me was Chaos with a pretty strong Khorne theme, the army was a Lord on Bike w/ Chainaxe, Kharn, 9 Zerkers w/ Chain axes and chain swords, a Rhino, 22 Cultists in two units, and a Contemptor Dreadnought with a Mortal Wound gun and what seemed to be an Assault Cannon. There was also 100 Reinforcement Points for Bloodletters or Hounds.

We played the Week 1 event mission which has Attacker/Defender roles, basically the attacker wants to end the game with units in the opposing Deployment Zone and the defender wants to score Kill Points. Attacker goes first unless the defender Seizes the Initiative, I was the attacker and Chaos failed to Seize. I believer there's also specific Strategems, the defender can re-roll hits for Overwatch and every model this kill in Overwatch removes 1" of Charge distance, which is horrifically overpowered, and the attacker can do.....something. I honestly forget but I think it was useless.

Chaos ended up putting the Rhino with all the prized units as far up as possible, which let me Charge it Turn 1 with two units and Da Rippa, as well as a Weirdboy. I ended up killing the Rhino just barely but also put 4 Wounds on the Chaos Lord who Heroically Intervened into Da Rippa, preventing me from Piling In around the edge of the Rhino and preventing ANY of the Berzerkers from getting out. I was pretty happy with this play as it forced some things from my opponent, although it was a huge mistake on his part to put his Rhino anywhere near the front lines.

In the end 2 Berzerkers died from the wreckage and two couldn't get out legally. I did lose Da Rippa in the following turn as the Lord fled and the Dreadnought put plenty of guns, and his fists, into my Warboss. The Berzerkers also charged me but since the Dreadnought went first I was able to Counter-Attack the Berzerkers and kill them all. This removed the only unit that Chaos had which could eat through my numbers.

In the end I just broke through, killing Kharn in the same turn and then getting into the Cultists and Lord who both went down as did the Dreadnought. The Hounds had been summoned but I'd barely lost 15 Orks total so there was just no hope and Chaos conceded.

While this was mostly a for fun game that ended on Turn 2, I did learn something. Against Khorne Berzerkers I should never Charge more than one unit of them and they should never Charge me with more than one unit, they both just blow each other up and if you leave yourself open to Counter-Attack then you'll lose a unit for nothing. It's actually better to just let them Charge you and instead get some shooting or something else, a useful tidbit if I go against Khorne in bigger games. Overall the game literally came down to me being able to Charge the Rhino on Turn 1, otherwise I probably still win the game but it's closer. I just have to screen my two units with one, eat the Charge, then kill the Berzerkers and win. If I sufficiently spread I probably don't even lose the full unit of Boyz because I can pull the Berzerkers out of Combat with casualties. Tactics!

That's all from me this time, I may get another Tau game in tomorrow but we'll see how it goes. Thanks for reading!


Episode 39: Let's Have a Talk (Orks vs. Imperial Guard 1500 Points) [League Game]

Thursdays can only mean one thing, a new week for my League! This time there was a pairings issue and I actually got matched against Ian, the gentleman I played a few weeks back with Dark Eldar. Because of that our pairing got broken and I didn't end up with an opponent. Thrown into the uncaring winds of fate I did what anyone would do and took to Facebook. Fortunately someone was available the same day, Simon and his Imperial Guard coming to the rescue.

SPOILERS FOR THE GAME
WILL ALSO BE ADDRESSED IN THE POST-GAME VIDEO
SKIP TO THE ARMY LISTS TO AVOID

So this game was extremely one-sided, as a lot of my games have been. There are a bunch of reasons for this, for example my lists are usually much better than my opponent's list. I put a lot of time into streamlining my armies and I have a lot of experience in making lists, I also know where to go to get good feedback. I think I've also caught onto 8th Edition faster than many players, things like the really small rules interactions that can add up to big advantages. Lastly I'm a rules fiend so I always know most of what my opponent's army can do and I know if something sounds fishy or not, this comes up almost every game where I'll call out a few rules that someone has remembered incorrectly.

All of that can make for one-sided games. While I think I'm far from the best player I seem to be doing quite well locally, although I'm looking forward to some epic smashings in the future. Because of everything I'm going to focus less on my play and more on my opponent's play in the Post-Game section of most Battle Reports. I think that will let me speak to people who don't see the mistakes that were made and could benefit from them. So look for that from now on.

SPOILERS OVER
SPOILERS OVER
SPOILERS OVER


Orks

Da Rippa (Warlord w/ Legendary Fighter)
Warboss on Warbike w/ Big Choppa and Attack Squig
Big Mek on Warbike w/ KFF
Big Mek on Warbike w/ KFF
Weirdboy (Da Jump)
Weirdboy (Warpath)

30 Shoota Boyz & Nob w/ Big Choppa
30 Shoota Boyz w/ 2 Big Shootas & Nob w/ Big Choppa
30 Slugga Boyz & Nob w/ Big Choppa
30 Slugga Boyz & Nob w/ Big Choppa
30 Slugga Boyz & Nob w/ Big Choppa


Imperium

Creed (Warlord w/ Tenacious Survivor)
Pask w/ Leman Russ Executioner, 2 Plasma Cannons and a Lascannon
Lord Commissar w/ Powerfist
Primaris Captain
Primaris Ancient

5 Hellblasters

5 Intercessors
5 Intercessors

10 Infantry Squad Guardsman w/ Vox
10 Infantry Squad Guardsman w/ Vox
10 Infantry Squad Guardsman w/ Vox

10 Veterans w/ 3 Plasmaguns and a Lascannon
10 Veterans w/ 3 Plasmaguns and a Lascannon
10 Veterans w/ 3 Plasmaguns and a Lascannon

3 Autocannon Heavy Weapon Teams


Scenario & Deployment
The Relic (ITC Combined Arms) | Hammer & Anvil

Uh-oh! I've long said the answer to Orks is just enemy Infantry, they're among the most cost-effective ways to deal with pure Boyz. While Simon has some things that aren't great against me such as Pask and the Veterans I think this is a pretty well-rounded list on the Guard side. The Primaris are.....kind of out of place. I don't think Primaris Marines are any good outside of Hellblasters and even they're dicey although the new Transport will help them a lot. As Simon told me though they're just fill points as he's still building up his army, which makes total sense.

I'm taking my usual Ork stuff, I decided to go Boyz heavy at 1500 and leave most of the bells and whistles at home. Just enough to help support me and do some Charges against Vehicles, although I didn't know what I was facing before the game.

Hammer & Anvil is the worst deployment for me, not only is it going to be a long slog but I don't have room to use Da Jump as effectively as I want to. I'm really hoping to make the Charge Turn 1 into something, no matter what, just to put a threat in Simon's face. Overall the Missions is....okay for me. I can get Destroy a Unit easily and I can hold the Objectives very well against such a static Guard list while also denying them from Simon. As I've long said Orks do well on Missions since they're so aggressive, my plan here is to push the Guard way into their Deployment Zone and then run up a win from there. We'll see how that panned out.

Deployment from me was fairly even, I put one Shoota Boyz unit in the back and spread everything else out, another Shoota unit on the left. Da Rippa went on the left as well and both Weirdboys went in the middle. Simon spread out a bit as well, Pask was in the middle with the Space Marines on my right. Most of the Guardsmen went on my left but one Veteran unit claimed a Ruin which had an Objective in it. Creed hangs out in the tall building will all of his targets for buffs.

Since I finished Deploying first I got the +1 for First Turn, a rarity, and won it, also a rarity. Simon attempted to Seize the Initiative but failed, giving me an extremely important Turn 1.








Orks Turn 1

Movement Phase
My Objectives this Turn are to Hold Objective 2, one of which is on the edge of my Deployment Zone and I can easily hold as I move up, as well as Destroy a Unit. My hope is to get enough guns into the Autocannons that I can do the job even if I don't get a Charge off from Da Jump.

Everyone Advances except the Characters, staying in their lanes since matchups are pretty decided and I am fine with them. My melee units are on the Space Marine side and my shooting is on the Guard side, perfect for me. My Da Jump Weirdboy Advances and the Purple Boyz move up a bit to be in range of his ability.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Da Jump goes onto the Purple Boyz, dumping them on my left flank and within a 10" Charge of two Infantry squads. I decline with cast with the other Weirdboy, I wasn't going to need Warpath on any targets this turn and there's no Smiting to be done so why risk Perils?

Shooting sees most of my guns go into the Autocannons, dealing 3 Wounds, with some spare shots going into each Infantry Squad and killing 1-2 from each. All my Warbikes were out of range and since this list isn't really heavy on shooting I'm happy with the outcome.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
Using my re-roll for 'Ere We Go I'm able to get into both Infantry Squads, losing two Orks to Overwatch. In combat I blow up the unit on the left and leave the other on 5 models and losing nothing back from the few return swings. My Consolidation ties up both Pask and the Autocannons, drastically reducing the amount of shooting I'll be taking on Simon's Turn.

One Guardsman gets executed by the Lord Commissar as they fail Morale.

Score
0 | 0










Imperium Turn 1

Movement Phase
Simon chooses Destroy a Unit, almost impossible against Orks on Turn 1 in this game, and Hold Objective 1 which he has in a ruin that's under no pressure from me.

Not much moves except the Primaris who all walk up into Rapid Fire range. Pask and the Autocannons both Fall Back. I was able to encircle the remaining Infantry Squad, keeping me in Combat since they can't Fall Back.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Creed gives "Get Back in the Fight" to the Autocannons, Re-roll 1's to Hit to the Veterans, and has the Infantry Squad Fight, although they do nothing. All of the Space Marines shoot into the Red Boyz, killing about half of them as I refuse to pass almost any Invulnerable Saves, while most of the Guardsmen shoot my Blue Boyz and kill a few. Overall I'm still in good shape and still have a healthy unit in Simon's lines which he is going to struggle to shift.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
Both the Lord Commissar and a fresh Infantry Squad Charge the Purple Boyz in an effort to clear them out, the Marines hold their ground. I lose a few Orks from the Commissar and one from the Infantry Squad but my strikes back kills the damaged Infantry Squad and takes 6 models from the other. Unfortunately I won't be able to Consolidate into Pask again because of the Lord Commissar and friends.

None of my units run since I have a unit for the Red Boyz to leech off of with Mob Rule.

Score
0 | 0







Orks Turn 2

Movement Phase
Having achieved both of my Objectives I roll Destroy a Unit and get a friendly unit within 12" of the enemy Deployment Edge. Destroying multiple units is no problem this turn and I planned to Da Jump my Pink Boyz behind enemy lines anyways for further disruption.

Again everyone Advances except the Warbike Characters, unfortunately I'm a bit restricted on the right flank and won't be able to get as many models into Combat as I want without some big Charges. My Blue Boyz are aiming to surf off the Infantry Squad and get deeper into the Imperial lines, I don't consider the Marines much of a threat so I'd rather clear out the shooting elements and then sweep around.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Da Jump goes off again onto the Pink Boyz, putting them, barely, between the Veterans and the Primaris blobs. They're unlike to do much this turn but it does achieve on of my Maelstrom Objectives and gives my opponent a hard unit to think about. Warpath goes on the Green Boyz at the cost of a Wound on my Weirdboy from Perils of the Warp.

Shooting is just a few potshots at the Veterans in the ruins and Primaris since almost everything Advanced or is in Combat. One Intercessor unit takes 3 Wounds, the other takes 1, Shoota Boyz just keep proving their worth!

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
My Warboss Charges both Intercessor Squads, taking 1 Wound for his trouble. The Red Boyz Charge all the Primaris unit, losing 2 models. I'm able to use these to tie up the Captain and Ancient which means my Warboss isn't in much danger. The Green and Blue units also get in to help me move up the board.

In Combat the Lord Commissar and Infantry Squad falls, allowing me to again Consolidate into Pask. Simon Counter-Attacks with the full Intercessor Squad, killing an Ork or two. After all my Chargers I've killed one Marine unit, left the other on 3 models, and killed 2 Hellblasters in return for very little. Most of Simon's damage came from the Ancient letting models attack as they die, his dice rolls were truly awful.

Score
2 | 0 for the Orks










Imperium Turn 2

Movement Phase
Simon did hold his Objective last turn but didn't destroy a unit. This turn he rolled Objective 2, which is in the ruins on my right side where his Veterans are, and destroy a unit. My Red Boyz are looking shabby but I can almost certainly stop him from holding the Objective by moving my Pink Boyz.

Pask again Falls Back, not having fired a single shot this game, while one of the Veterans units move to try and cover his retreat. Everything else is either in Combat or holding still.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
First Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire goes onto both Veteran units and the Autocannons get re-roll 1's to Hit. All this manages to almost wipe out the Purple Boyz. Some Pistols go into the Reds and kill more of them.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
I intentionally removed casualties to let the Captain get out of Combat and Charge the Warboss, at this point the game is tilting a bit and it's all in fun. Simon does just that, killing the Warboss with the Powerfist, while the rest of his units leave my Red Boyz on 2 models. In return I finish off the Intercessors and put two Wounds on the Captain.

There's no Morale checks to make so we go back over to me.

Score
2 | 1 for the Orks



Orks Turn 3

Movement Phase
Again I achieved both my Objectives last turn, this time I choose hold Objective 1 and 2, combining them both for 3 Points. I can simply move both Big Meks back and get this done but I'd rather move one back and steal the other from Simon.

My Blue Boyz Advance to remove the Veterans in the middle and again tie up Pask, Da Rippa goes with them while the Big Mek moves back to the Objective. Pinks just move up normally since I have no Warboss near them to allow for an Advance and Charge. The other Big Mek just moves up to help cover Pask but also Charge something if needed. Finally what remains of the Purples prepare to take care of the Autocannons.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Smite goes on the Captain, doing 3 Moral Wounds and 2 back to me for Perils. I also Smite the Hellblasters, doing 2 Wounds. Shooting kills a few Veterans on the right and one Autocannon, as well as removing a few central Veterans.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
My Big Mek Charges the Hellblasters while the Pinks and Blues each get into a Veteran unit, losing a model each. The Purples Charge the Autocannon and Da Rippa goes for a greedy re-roll to try and get Pask but instead can't get into anyone.

In Combat I kill the Captain and the Hellblasters, along with both Veteran units and get models into Pask. In return I lose one Red Boy, keeping the unit around, and some more Green Boyz from a Counter-Attack by the Captain.

At this point Simon concedes the game as he only has the Primaris Ancient, Creed, one Veteran unit, and Pask left who's in Combat. I have two nearly full units, two depleted units, and a half strength unit along with Psykers, Big Meks, and Da Rippa.

Score
4 | 1 for the Orks


Major Victory for the Orks!


Post-Game Thoughts


Episode 38.4: Orks and Tau Post-FAQ and Space Marine Codex

If you pay attention to 40K you'll probably notice that some massive changes happened this week to the game in the form of FAQs for all the Indexes and the Core Rules. Not all of these changes are worth discussing and many of them are indeed just clarification of pretty common sense readings but there were major shakeups. In particular we're looking at a nerf to Fliers, buffs to Tau, and a change in the landscape for Orks. If you aren't familiar with the changes I'd suggest seeking them out since it's a bit much for me to cover here.

The nerf to Fliers is the biggest change and the most welcome one. I don't think this is going to do anything to armies which play 3-4 Storm Ravens and a similar amount of things like Valkyries, Hemlocks, and so on. The extreme spam lists are done, it's too risky to slap a few cheap HQs in the Storm Ravens or try and hide them because the game gives rampant access to Deep Strike, things that can pick Characters out, and overall maneuverability. Storm Ravens counter this the best since they can Hover, which means they can screen, and they're transports which means you actually have to take the important ones down. For me a competitive list still has to be able to kill 1 Storm Raven per turn from range which invalidates a lot of stuff.

That probably sounds a bit dour, and it is, because I think Fliers are still one of the go to builds. Can you take them to the extremes you once could? No. Can you still play an army that's probably too good and invalidates too many things? Yes. This is the same issue as the 3 Knights army, it just says no to a bunch of stuff you can bring. As the game keeps evolving I think there will be a comp on Fliers/Lords of War such as they cannot be more than 25-50% of your total army value. If that happens then I think the game is in a good place, for now there's been some improvement but not enough to make me feel good about competitive list diversity.

Segueing to Orks, I think they're in a better place now but still bottom of the barrel in terms of competitive viability. Nothing in the FAQ changed the fact that Orks don't have guns. Nothing in the FAQ changed the fact that you need guns to win against Fliers, Super Heavies, and gunlines. As I've discussed several times there are no mathematically viable options for Orks to deal with armor outside of Charging, this doesn't work against anything that can leave combat or just not be Charged. I hate saying that because I love Orks, they're fun to play and I think they are fun to play against as well but my outlook on them isn't good. There's even indications that specialist anti-Hordes units are going to be a thing since the new Primaris unit smashes hordes, but Orks can't shoot them off the table as easily as Tyranids or Guard can.

At the end of the day Orks are a melee army in a shooting game. They received awesome buffs in 8th Edition and I think they're good up to a certain point. But once you start playing against the very powerful lists in the game the tools just don't exist. I sincerely hope they're given new options when their Codex eventually comes out or the options they have are MASSIVELY discounted. Stuff like Lootas probably need a 33% reduction in cost and I still don't know if I'd take them.....

Moving onto Tau, wow how night and day. My Commander list is proving itself to be as strong as I thought and it got several bumps up from the FAQ. For one Flier spam got hit, which is always a threat, and even if someone is playing a bit heavy on Fliers I have the tools to remove everything else and table them. Shield Drones also do something now, which I wasn't necessarily expecting but I'd hoped for, this is going to make Commanders way more survivable. What I'd noticed throughout my few games is that Gun Drones die so fast, not only to small arms fire but just for Savior Protocols and taking medium arms fire. Gun Drones are cheaper and have good shooting against chaff but people aren't playing as much chaff as I thought would be popular. Outside of Orks, Foot IG, and SOME Tyranids, I just don't see the need for them.

I've also been working on a version of my list to take into events which restrict Detachments, I think that's going to be a popular and simple way to crack down on spam. So for example each Detachment outside of Patrol, Battalion, Brigade might be restricted to no more than one. One store in my area is locking things down to no more than 3 of a particular Datasheet, I think that's a bad idea and will quickly fall out of favor since it hits a ton of legitimate armies. I know a lot of people think Commander Spam is boring, I'd ask why? It does what Tau is supposed to do, shoot a lot, but it's very movement oriented and even gets into Combat. I'd much prefer playing against Commanders than a gunline but maybe I'm just crazy.

Anyways, good stuff from GW and they're getting closer and closer to making a believer out of me. The game still needs changes for balance and GW needs to enter this century by making digital books and/or an app similar to War Room for Warmachine. I'm optimistic though and that's not something I have EVER said about Games Workshop. I wish they'd be as active about Age of Sigmar as they are about 40K, that game needs so much less work but I guess it's all eyes on the big product for now.

Episode 38: So THAT'S Why People Hate Tau (Tau vs Death Guard 2000 Points)

Last game of the week and it's one I've been trying to schedule for a week! I'm going up against Death Guard again, which is turning out to be a very fun army to play against. I once again took my Tau as I'm giving the Orks a rest for a tiny bit. I'm also working on a project to use my Orks as a dual-purpose army, counting as an IG Tank Company. So...watch for that at some point. :P I also still have proxies in this game, my remaining Tau models won't be here until Tuesday and then I have to start stripping everything. Going to be a bit of a process.

This time I was FINALLY able to play an ITC Combined Arms Mission, which I have wanted to do since they dropped. I'll give some thoughts on those, just first impression, in the Post-Game.


Tau

Commander w/ 4 Fusion Blasters
(Warlord w/ Legendary Fighter)
2 Gun Drones

Commander w/ 3 Cyclic Ion Blasters and an Advanced Targeting System
2 Gun Drones

Commander w/ 3 Cyclic Ion Blasters and an Advanced Targeting System
2 Gun Drones

Commander w/ 3 Cyclic Ion Blasters and an Advanced Targeting System
2 Gun Drones

Commander w/ 3 Cyclic Ion Blasters and an Advanced Targeting System
2 Gun Drones

Commander w/ 3 Cyclic Ion Blasters and an Advanced Targeting System
2 Gun Drones

Commander w/ 3 Cyclic Ion Blasters and an Advanced Targeting System
2 Gun Drones

Commander w/ 3 Cyclic Ion Blasters and an Advanced Targeting System
2 Gun Drones

Commander w/ 3 Cyclic Ion Blasters and an Advanced Targeting System
2 Gun Drones

Commander w/ 3 Cyclic Ion Blasters and an Advanced Targeting System
2 Gun Drones

Cadre Fireblade
2 Gun Drones

Cadre Fireblade
2 Gun Drones

5 Strike Team Fire Warriors
1 Gun Drone

5 Strike Team Fire Warriors
2 Gun Drones

5 Pathfinders
2 Gun Drones

5 Pathfinders
2 Gun Drones

5 Pathfinders
2 Gun Drones

4 Kroot Hounds

4 Kroot Hounds

4 Kroot Hounds


Death Guard

Necrosius The Undying
(Warlord w/ Legendary Fighter)

Demon Prince of Chaos w/ Mark of Nurgle, Malefic Talons, Warp Bolter, and Wings

Demon Prince of Chaos w/ Mark of Nurgle, Malefic Talons, Warp Bolter, and Wings

6 Plague Marines w/ 2 Blight Launchers, Champion w/ Plasma Pistol and Chainsword

6 Plague Marines w/ 2 Blight Launchers, Champion w/ Plasma Pistol and Chainsword

6 Plague Marines w/ 2 Blight Launchers, Champion w/ Plasma Pistol and Chainsword

6 Plague Marines w/ 2 Blight Launchers, Champion w/ Plasma Pistol and Chainsword

Hellforged Contemptor Dreadnought w/ 2 Butcher Cannons and Greater Havoc Launcher

Hellforged Contemptor Dreadnought w/ 2 Butcher Cannons and Greater Havoc Launcher

3 Obliterators

3 Obliterators

So once again this list isn't actually legal based on what I was told by my opponent, the Contemptors may take a regular Havoc Launcher but not a Greater Havoc Launcher. We also have Necrosius buffing the Plague Marines which he cannot because they don't have The Tainted Keyword. At this point I have all the FAQs and every book that exists on my tablet and I'm just going to be looking up everything as I play. Many people are making these small list errors and it's better to nip them in the bud. But we played the game as the list appears above.


Scenario & Deployment
Secure and Control (ITC Combined Arms) | Spearhead Assault

Once again another length wise deployment, that's going to hurt my Deep Strike. I'd love to play this list into a normal table where Deep Strike is awesome but it's good to see the weaknesses of the list. Secure and Control is quite good for me since I can get where I need to go towards the end of the game while not sacrificing much shooting and my own table edge is usually quite secure unless I'm getting smashed. The Maelstrom Objectives are quite against me, the destroy a unit option is so, so easy against Tau with the Drones. Overall I'm happy about this since it gives my list some failure points it wouldn't ordinarily have and since it's quite a powerful army I'm fine with that.

Deployment most consisted of my putting Commanders into Reserves, which I love, while the Death Guard setup. As expected the Demon Prices are ready to get up into my lines, the Dreadnoughts are playing a bit back though. Most of the Plague Marines are also back and Necrosius is hanging out in a building on my right. I established a pretty nice firebase with the Cadres seeing down the lanes around the building (bottom level of ruins block LoS in this game) and my Kroot Hounds are screening. I tried to spread the Pathfinders and Fire Warriors out but honestly they won't be too useful this game since the Death Guard didn't bring any chaff.

We diced off and Death Guard got the choice, electing for Turn 1, I opted not to Seize. I find this list really likes going second although I still need to work on hiding my squishy guys from Turn 1 shooting.









Death Guard Turn 1

Movement Phase
Death Guard Objectives this Turn are to kill a unit and have three units in the friendly Deployment Zone while I have none in it.

Both Demon Princes moved up but didn't Advance, one taking advantage of the LoS from the central building while the other nips around the right side. Similarly the Contemptors moved up to get in range for the foreseeable future. Plague Marines advanced while some stayed in the back to see where the game takes them. Necrosius moves up in the building. At the end of Movement the Obliterators come down, taking positions up on the ruins and making my Deep Strike very difficult.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Miasma of Pestilence fails to cast into one of the Demon Princes, nothing else is cast due to range and/or the buffs not being relevant yet. Shooting has the Dreadnoughts kill quite a few things - 2 Pathfinders on the left and their Drones, another 3 Drones, 5 Kroot Hounds, and a Fire Warrior. Mostly I pushed Wounds to the Drones to keep the Pathfinders alive as best I can but I'll let Fire Warriors die since the Drones are just better this game.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
My Drones and Pathfinders all stand even with the -2 from the Butcher Cannons and Death Guard pass the turn.

Score
0 | 0







Tau Turn 1

Movement Phase
I rolled destroy a unit and put a unit in the enemy deployment zone for my Maelstrom Objectives this turn.

My lines shuffle a bit as I move the Kroot Hounds up to screen as best they can and I move to get the Drones where I want to drop my Commanders. Most everything else shuffles slightly except the Cadres. My Commanders then come down, spreading out evenly in front of my. Fusion Blasters and two pals go right, five go left, and two go center.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
My guns rev up but unfortunately I'm not able to get in range of the Dreadnoughts like I wanted. This is one weakness of the 18" guns my army uses when combined with a long table. Oh well! Cadre Markerlights go into each Obliterator unit, I follow up by getting to 4 Markerlights on the rightmost Obliterator unit which will strip their Cover Save. My Commanders on the right shoot and kill all 3, with one Commander to spare.

Gun Drones and my Fire Warriors open up on the other unit with a pair of Gun Drones killing an Obliterator outright thanks to three 1's for Saves! The Commanders then finish his friends off. My spare Commanders go into a Plague Marine unit and remove them all as well, with another two Commanders to spare.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
Chaos has no Morale to make and I'm certainly not keen on Charges just yet so I pass.




Death Guard Turn 2

Movement Phase
Once again the Death Guard roll destroy a unit and hold their Deployment Zone, both of these are pretty easy to achieve. Both Objectives were also netted last last turn as was First Blood for Tertiary Points.

Both Demon Princes move up, determined to get into Combat, and the Plague Marines Advance or shuffle to get into Cover and near Objectives. Everyone else stays still.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Miasma of Pestilence is attempted again and goes off on the right Demon Prince. His counterpart then attempts to Smite but rolls double 1's and takes a Wound for his trouble. The other Prince casts Virulent Blessing on himself.

Shooting has the Gun Drones on my left all wiped out with the Warp Bolters and some Greater Havoc Launchers.  Butcher Cannons kill some more Drones and a unit of Fire Warriors, my Drones are making it hard for the Chaos Shooting to get into my Commanders which is just what I want. One Commander does take 2 Wounds from a Blight Launcher.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
Both Princes make their Charges although the one on the right takes a Wound for his trouble and his partner on the left takes 5 Wounds! I also Heroically Intervene with one Commander. Attacks are split up, the two Commanders on the tower are left standing with 4/5 Wounds respectively. In the other Combat one Commander takes 4 Wounds while the wounded one takes nothing. In return I punch the right Demon Prince back for 2 Wounds, leaving him with only one.

I pass my Morale Checks and the turn ends.

Score
3 | 0 for Death Guard






Tau Turn 2

Movement Phase
My Objectives this turn are to destroy a unit and hold my Deployment Zone, both of which I'm confident in. I only finished one Objective last turn though.

Starting in a particularly Tau way I Withdraw with all my Commanders who are in combat. My Warlord declares Mont'ka on himself and a few friends, they each Advance with the right Dreadnought in their sights. In their wake come some Drones and Fire Warriors. I push forward on the left and center as well with everything moving except the Cadres and one Pathfinder unit.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Repeating my first turn I get a Markerlight on each Demon Prince but all my Pathfinders miss. I start the damage with the Gun Drones and Fire Warriors who do manage to kill the 1 Wound Demon Prince after expending pretty much all of them. My Commanders on the right all shoot and Overcharge, taking a Mortal Wound on almost all of them but dropping the Dreadnought. A remaining Commander kills 3 Plague Marines on the balcony.

My center Commanders kill the other Demon Prince with Overcharged shots, my Fusion Blasters then go into the Dreadnought but he makes both his Invulnerable Saves. The other Commanders are just out of range of him thanks to some poor Advance rolls so I kill 5 Plague Marines instead. At this point we realize that each Marine unit needs one more model so one goes back on the balcony and one Blight Launcher lives on the right.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
What remains of the Plague Marines hold their ground and I pass over again.

Score
3 | 1 for the Death Guard









Death Guard Turn 3

Movement Phase
Once again both Objectives were achieved for the Death Guard and they roll destroy a unit and hold Objective 2 which is conveniently on the balcony that the Plague Marines are holed up in.

Necrosius gets behind the Dreadnought to avoid shooting and the last Plague Marine on the right comes out to have a defiant shot. The other, full, Plague Marine unit Advances onto the Objective.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Continuing the trend Miasma of Pestilence goes on the full Plague Marine unit, nothing else is in LoS or of use. On the right the Dreadnought and Blight Launcher remove 2 Drones with the Marine, both Commanders thanks to some tricky distances thanks to the Cannons, and 3 Pathfinders with the Greater Havoc. My front Commander on the left takes 4 Wounds but shields his friends successfully.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
No Charges this turn and I pass all the Morale so away we go.

Score
5 | 1 for the Death Guard







Tau Turn 3

Movement Phase
I opt for two destroy a unit and combine them to obtain destroy three units which would give me 3 Maelstrom points and get me back in the scoring. I also achieved both Objectives last turn, netting me 2 points.

Most of my army Advances this turn as I'm losing LoS to the Death Guard. All of my Commanders continue to move forward as well.  This puts me in pretty firm control of the Death Guard Deployment Zone which might make Maelstrom harder on them going forward.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
I don't manage to get any Markerlights up since the Cadres Advanced and I have few Pathfinders left. My Fusion Blaster Commander puts 6 Wounds on the Dreadnought who's then finished off by Overcharging in return for a Moral Wound. I also finish off the remaining Plague Marine, giving me two of three units destroyed for my Objective.

Remaining guns finish the balcony Plague Marines and kill 2 from the other unit, meaning I get my Objective.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
I Charge the Plague Marines with my Commanders, making it in with all four at the cost of 2 Wounds on a slightly wounded Commander. I kill one Plague Marine but take no damage in return and they pass their Morale Check.

Score
5 | 3 for Death Guard





Death Guard Turn 4

Movement Phase
Both Objectives were achieved last turn for 2 Points, again the Death Guard are trying to destroy a unit and hold Objective 2 which they are already on.

Necrosius books it over to the four Commanders in Combat, nothing else is able to move.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Again Miasma of Pestilence goes on what remains of the Plague Marines and Smite goes off on an 11, killing a Commander. A Plasma Pistol from the Champion Overcharges and kills another Commander.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
A Charge goes out from Necrosius which he makes, further wounding the Commanders. The Plague Marines are unable to lend a helping hand and one of them is clubbed by a Commander.

Score
7 | 3 for Death Guard




Tau Turn 4

I Withdraw with my remaining Commanders and brutally shoot down the remaining Death Guard.




Major Victory for the Tau!


Post-Game Thoughts