Episode 37: Shooting Is Pretty Fun! (Tau vs. Tyranids 1500 Points) [League Game]

Two games in two days, that's what I'm talking about! Although my League doesn't officially have new pairings until tomorrow one gentleman was going out of the country and could only play tonight. I was schedule to play a 2000 Point game vs. Death Guard but that guy got held up playing his league game, so we decided to make the best of it and I got in another League game against Tyranids, piloted by Michael. As is delightfully usual for me I have not played Michael before so the trend of meeting new people continues! I was also happy to play against Tyranids as I think they can do a lot of the things Tau are weak against and that's always a great thing to test.

Starting this week we can also use the ITC Variants of the Core Rulebook missions, which I opted to do since they're much better balanced and thus more fun. I also clarified that all the Ruins on the board would block LoS from the bottom level, this would favor the Tyranids but I think it's much more fair overall and I am not one to bend rules to help me out.


Tau

Commander w/ 4 Fusion Blasters (Warlord w/ +1 Attack on the Charge)
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 Pathfinders
2 Gun Drones

5 Pathfinders
2 Gun Drones

4 Kroot Hounds
4 Kroot Hounds
4 Kroot Hounds

Detachments
Supreme Command
Supreme Command
Outrider


Tyranids

The Swarmlord (The Horror, Catalyst( [Warlord w/ +1 Attack on the Charge]
Tyrannocyte w/ 5 Venom Cannons

Broodlord (The Horror)

Deathleaper
4 Zoanthropes (The Horror, Catalyst)
3 Venomthropes

10 Genestealers
12 Genestealers
12 Genestealers

Mawloc

Biovore


So I actually played over 100pts under this game, I didn't have a list prepared for 1500 so I was making it with my phone off my Index and must have fudged something. To make things even more fun I just forgot to deploy a unit of Pathfinders and their Gun Drones! This would technically make my play illegal since I put all the Commanders in Reserves but since I played down about 150pts...I think that evens out.


Scenario & Deployment
No Mercy (ITC Variant) | Hammer and Anvil

This is a pretty even mission, my Drones are really easy to get rid of but their Power Level is low but all the things I want to kill from the Tyranids side are also expensive. It's also easier for me to keep things alive since I am constantly backing up and shooting instead of getting into melee. Hammer and Anvil favors the Tyranids, they aren't so big of a swarm that there will be bottle-necking but it prevents me from abusing the flanks as much as I'd like to with my Commanders. It is easier to land behind my opponent but whether that's a good idea or not will be dictated to me.

Also please excuse the proxies, both me and Michael are still in the building process so we have a few things. On his side is Zoanthropes and the Biovore, mine is the Kroot Hounds and a Fireblade.

The Tyranids finished deploying way before me, giving Michael the +1 to go first which he won and kept. I opted not to Seize since I'd get almost nothing done Turn 1 and wanted to see what he did with his Reserves. Otherwise I'd be forced to bring in my Commanders and the game can go many ways from there.






Tyranids Turn 1

Movement Phase
Predictably, everything Advances except the Biovore who is content to be out of Synapse range and just shooting whatever is closest to him. All the Tyranid units manage to stay within the Venomthrope aura and come towards my right flank. The Mawloc comes up and kills 5 Gun Drones with his ability. I reason that since you measure in three dimensions he doesn't hit the models at the top of the ruins, however I'm not sure about that and wouldn't mind a firmer answer. Consulting the Rulebook wasn't of any help.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Catalyst goes onto the Venomthropes and two Smites go down on my Kroot Hounds, killing a unit. A Biovore shot goes out onto one of my Cadres since he's now the closest target but it misses and creates a Spore Mine.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
As is typical there's no Charges on Turn 1 and with my Gun Drone passing his Morale check it goes over to me.






Tau Turn 1

Movement Phase
With Deathleaper and The Swarmlord still in reserve I was in a tough spot and I'd hoped Michael wouldn't make such a heads up play. The Mawloc and everything else is barreling down at me so I can't afford to out wait the swarm. My Kroot Hounds moved, falling back with their defensive perimeter, and the lone Gun Drone also floated down to pick off the Spore Mine and make himself useful.

All my Commanders come down, the Fusion Blaster Warlord and two pals dropping in my backfield to deal with the Mawloc and the rest hovering about 14" from the Tyranid frontlines. One went on top of a ruin to make Charges more difficult, I did have the option to do this with all the Commanders but at the time I decided against it.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Markerlights from the Fireblades lit up the Mawloc and front Genestealer unit, I then picked off the Spore Mine with my lone Gun Drone. Two Commanders managed to put down the Mawloc, leaving the third and their Drones with nothing to do, same for the Pathfinders. My other Commanders and Drones killed 7 Genestealers and did 7 Wounds to the Zoanthropes, killing 2.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
I wasn't in range to Charge and certainly won't be doing so until I thin the ranks a bit so I pass the turn with no Morale being necessary because Tyranids.





Tyranids Turn 2

Movement Phase
Once again everything Advanced with the Genestealers taking advantage of their awesome ability to Advance and Charge. Luckily for me the Venomthropes get a bad roll and cannot keep up with the army so next turn I don't have to deal with their penalties.

Deathleaper arrives behind my Fusion Blaster Commander and The Swarmlord drops on my left, thanks to my Drones and Kroot Hounds I manage to push him back and at least force a decent Charge into anything but those units once he makes himself move.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
The Zoanthropes Smite as does the Broodlord, both killing 2 Gun Drones. Swarmie tries to put Catalyst on the big Genestaler unit but fails and Perils, taking 1 Wound.

Shooting has the Biovore kill off a Gun Drone and the Tyrannocyte kills 2 more. Swarmie then forgets to have himself move.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
Michael begins with the large Genestealer unit that was hoping to get Catalyst, targeting everything in my front. Overwatch kills 5 of them, removing the bonus attack, but expending all my Overwatch. They make it in and get into the right-front Commander, the Broodlord then goes himself and gets into the left-front. Remnants of the unit I shot last turn gets one model into my Drones on top of the ruins and the other Genestealers get a few models into the left-front Commander. I do a Heroic Intervention with the Commander on the ruin. Swarmie and his Pod fail their Charges into the Kroot Hounds. Deathleaper tries to Charge all my Commanders in the back but it put down with Overwatch thanks to Overcharging, although I take 1 Mortal Wound in return.

After the Chargers clear my right-front Commander has taken a Wound after shunting one to a Drone who was going to die anyways. His pal dies to the Broodlord after taking a Wound from the Genestealers, the Broodlord then Consolidates into my lines. Up top I lose nothing but kill one Genestealer with my Commander, the other one whiffs.

Again we have no Morale so onto my turn and hopefully a satisfying shooting phase.









Tau Turn 2

Movement Phase
First order of business is getting my Commanders out of the thick of things, the one up top only Withdraws a few inches to keep his position and the other jumps behind the Kroot. One Fireblade descends to give his aura to my Pathfinders who also come out of hiding and get a bead on the Genestealers. My Commanders in the back move left, eyes on The Swarmlord. Once again my Kroot shuffle and form a barrier for the Genestealers, although I probably can't keep them out.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Markerlights go onto the rightmost Genestealers and Swarmie, I then open up on the big guy and do 7 Wounds with Fusion before finishing him with one Overcharging Commander. He luckily explodes, dealing 3 Wounds to his transport. The Pathfinders and most of the Drones remove the Genestealer unit on my left, two targets down.

What remains of my shooting whittles down the other large Genestealer unit to 2 models and the three man unit to 1. I have to throw a few shots into the Pod as well since I can't see the remaining Genestealers and I'm not close enough to the Broodlord, this leaves the transport on 5 Wounds.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
Two Commanders Charge the Pod to stop it from shooting, although I take a Wound from Overwatch. In return I take another Wound off of it and suffer nothing in return. Again there's no Morale but things are looking very bright for the Tau.









Tyranids Turn 3

Movement Phase
Heading for my Commanders in melee the Broodlord and remaining broodlings all Advance through the Ruins towards me. The Zoanthropes and Venomthropes also Advance but not by much. Lonely Biovore continues to hide at the back of the board.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Smite goes out from the Broodlord on a Commander, doing 6 Mortal Wounds and slaying him outright! Another from the Zoanthropes kills 2 Kroot Hounds. The Biovore shoots, killing one Pathfinder.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
Everyone available Charges the Commander and through some amazing dice he lives with 1 Wound! I do nothing back and at this point Michael concedes the game to me.






Major Victory for the Tau!

Post-Game Thoughts


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