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

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