Episode 40: Give Me Somethin' To Shoot (Tau vs. Chaos 2000 Points) [Tournament Preparation]

Well it has been a minute since I got a game in, or at least it feels that way. Today I was able to get not just one but two games, which is a successful day off work if you ask me. The follow up to this game wasn't worth reporting as it was extremely one-side, although I will talk about it in the video at the end of this post.

If you checked the post prior to this one I've been messing with some Ork builds that I think are competitively viable, however I don't have the required models to play the list just yet. There's also a fairly large tournament happening at my local shop next week, so I'm going to try and spam out Tau games since they're going to be my pick. Hopefully I'll have the Orks ready in time for the next tournament on the calendar at the end of August.

This time I got in another game against Nick and his Nurgle, I previously played him with my Tau and did an earlier report about it. This time we'd both made some tweaks and were looking to get practice in for next Saturday, I'll probably run a lot of games with Nick since he's often available and is getting a lot better at the competitive side of things.


Tau

Commander w/ 3 Cyclic Ion Blasters & Advanced Targeting System
(Warlord w/ Tenacious Survivor)
2 Shield Drones

Commander w/ 3 Cyclic Ion Blasters & Advanced Targeting System
2 Shield Drones

Commander w/ 3 Cyclic Ion Blasters & Advanced Targeting System
2 Shield Drones

Commander w/ 3 Cyclic Ion Blasters & Advanced Targeting System
2 Shield Drones

Commander w/ 3 Cyclic Ion Blasters & Advanced Targeting System
2 Shield Drones

Commander w/ 3 Cyclic Ion Blasters & Advanced Targeting System
2 Shield Drones

Commander w/ 3 Cyclic Ion Blasters & Advanced Targeting System
2 Shield Drones

Commander w/ 3 Cyclic Ion Blasters & Advanced Targeting System
2 Shield Drones

Commander w/ 3 Cyclic Ion Blasters & Advanced Targeting System
2 Shield Drones

Commander w/ 3 Cyclic Ion Blasters & Advanced Targeting System
2 Shield Drones

5 Strike Team Fire Warriors w/ 1 Markerlight
2 Gun Drones

5 Strike Team Fire Warriors w/ 1 Markerlight
2 Gun Drones

5 Strike Team Fire Warriors w/ 1 Markerlight
2 Gun Drones

4 Kroot Hounds

4 Kroot Hounds

4 Kroot Hounds

5 Pathfinders
2 Gun Drones

5 Pathfinders
2 Gun Drones

5 Pathfinders
2 Gun Drones

5 Pathfinders
2 Gun Drones

Supreme Command Detachment
Battalion Detachment
Outrider Detachment


Chaos

Necrosius The Undying
(Warlord w/ Tenacious Survivor)

Demon Prince w/ Wings, Mark of Nurgle, and 2x Malefic Talons

Demon Prince w/ Wings, Mark of Nurgle, and 2x Malefic Talons

Herald of Nurgle

Herald of Nurgle

Malignant Plaguecaster

5 Plague Marines w/ 2 Plasma Guns and a Combi-Plasma Gun

5 Plague Marines w/ 2 Plasma Guns and a Combi-Plasma Gun

5 Plague Marines w/ 2 Plasma Guns and a Combi-Plasma Gun

10 Pox Riders of Nurgle

Chaos Decimator w/ 2 Soulburner Petards

Chaos Decimator w/ 2 Soulburner Petards


List Thoughts

My Tau list is the final form of this army, it could possibly be slightly better with the three Supreme Command Detachments but I actually like have more Infantry. Command Points aren't super useful for this army yet, although they aren't useless, but I have better Objective control, more Marekrlights, and I can handle horde lists better than if I was going pure HQs. Also it lets all the Commanders Deep Strike which I strongly prefer as the only viable ground based guns are Missile Pods, which are too expensive for S7.

Nick's list is super interesting. At the time we played we both thought you could cast Miasma of Pestilence on the Pox Riders, however when I was putting this report together that isn't the case as they don't possess the Death Guard Keyword. For the game we did play it like that though and even without that I think they're a good unit.

At the time the point of the army is to have a bit of a Death Star with the frogs getting Miasma of Pestilence and Virulent Blessing, getting re-roll 1's to Hit from the Princes, and being healable through Fleshy Abundance. This would create a unit that's -2 to Hit very often, can be healed, has Fly, does 2d3 Damage on 6's to Wound, and re-rolls 1's to Hit at S6 with a Herald. Ouch!

I think that's still viable without the additional penalty to Hit, it's just more fair. Anyways when setting up I was most afraid of the Pox Riders, Demon Princes, and Decimators in that order. There's also a lot of Smite in this list which I don't love to see and all the Death Guard have Plasma Guns, although no re-roll help from anyone. Pretty much everything is a threat so I really need to make sure I get an effective Beta Strike.


Scenario & Deployment
Big Guns Never Tire (ITC Combined Arms) | Front-Line Assault

Finally! I get to play on a long table with my Deep Strike army! Front-Line Assault is fine for my army, Dawn of War is better since usually all my Infantry hide and this variant gives me opponent a bit more room to come get me but that can also force them to spread out, which is very good for me.

Big Guns Never Tire is a fine Mission, neither of us had Heavy Support but only having a few Objectives to cover is very helpful for me. Nick's army isn't mobile and has problems covering Scenario so unless he consistently rolls Destroy a Unit I should be able to pull very far ahead on Maelstrom. Throughout the game I should also get in good position to hold the Objectives at the end of the game, which is super important since Tertiary Objectives are both Ground Control and Linebreaker.

Deployment was my typical "10 Commanders in Deep Strike" while my opponent sets up their whole army. For this game I wanted to try something new and have 1-3 firebases on the board, that way I'm encouraging my opponent to spread out which in turn makes my Commanders much better. If the other army can castle up I may not be able to shoot everything I want and it's easier to hit me back.Spreading out my army also makes it a bit harder to lose things to melee as those units have more ground to cover.

Nicked ended up castling in the center-right but not extremely hard. Pox Riders went more on the right and the Princes were centered with a Decimator while the other flanked out. True to my word I setup a firebase on the left and right, mostly ignoring the center other than a unit of Kroot Hounds to hold an Objective and also bait a Turn 1 Charge from the Pox Riders. If they went that far I could land all my Commanders back, likely kill them, and then the game is much easier.

I also forgot some models at home this game so Orks = Pathfinders. Even better I didn't deploy a unit of Pathfinders since I just forgot they were in the list! I'll be printing copies of my lists from now and putting them in my phone via BattleScribe because I've made this mistake several times and it needs to stop.

I won the roll for Turn 1 and gave it to Nick since my army loves going second.








Chaos Turn 1

Movement Phase
Objectives chosen were Destroy a Unit and Hold Friendly Objective 2. Since I have hidden all my models except one Fire Warrior unit I think these were good calls.

Most everything Advances with the exception of the frogs. One Decimator goes to my left, as does a unit of Plague Marines. Both Princes and the Pox Riders are heading right but still pretty centered, the rest just moves forward and doesn't commit.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Miasma of Pestilence is cast into the Decimator on my left while Virulent Blessing goes on the Pox Riders. Not sure this was necessary since by the time they can Charge it'll have to be cast again but oh well. No Smites are in range so most of the other Psykers just stand around.

Soulburners go into the Fire Warriors that Nick can see, killing one and a Drone while doing a Wound to the Decimator. Everything else either Advanced or can't see my models.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
With no Charges into me I took and passed Morale on the Fire Warriors.

Score
0 | 0

Objectives Rolled for Nick







Tau Turn 1

Movement Phase
My Objectives were Destroy a Unit and Hold Friendly Objective 2. My goal is to get both of these done and shoot Nick off his Objective 2. In general Tau can fall behind in Maelstrom so if I can take an early lead or put some pressure on then I definitely want to do that.

Most of my units shuffle around to get some Markerlight shots. I was having a lot of trouble deciding where to drop, I could go on the left and take out the Plague Marines there along with the Decimator but it'll leave me a little out of position. If I go on the right I'm in the thick of things, but I feel like I can take the punch.

Ultimately I ended up moving my Infantry to go on the left but changed my mind and went on the left. That meant a lot of LoS was denied to me with Markerlights, already making mistakes! All the Commanders came down in a few pockets, since Nick is slow I want to force him to spread out.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
One Markerlight shines on the Pox Riders, I'm unable to get anymore out because of my botched Movement. Ideally I would have gotten 5 on the Pox Riders through volume, although that's unlikely, or a stray into some Plague Marines.

My shooting sprays all over, the Commanders in the back just barely manage to kill the Decimator there which nets me my Maelstrom Objective. I also kill 3 Plague Marines on the back of the board which gets them off the Objective, so my plan is working.

The remaining Commander fire dumps into the Pox Riders, I'm hoping to remove quite a few before they get the -2 to Hit up and running. In the end I remove 3, not enough to stop their special ability but certainly getting there. I do end up taking a few Mortal Wounds when shooting at the frogs, just the cost of doing business.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
No Charges from me as I need to thin the ranks quite a bit more before that happens. Morale is taken on the Pox Riders who lose none but gain none, the Plague Marines also pass.

Score
0 | 0

My Objective Roll








Chaos Turn 2

Movement Phase
Nick gets two Destroy a Unit results and chooses to combine them since he's a bit behind and Tau are just so easy to score Kill Points against.

 The Decimator heals his 1 Wound. Looking to do some big damage this turn the Chaos army gets aggressive. Both Princes fly towards the Commanders along my back table edge while the Pox Riders go more to the right. The shot up Plague Marines hold their ground, the other units walk through the ruins and end up in the center and in the left-center.

Meanwhile all the Psykers are moving up the middle but struggling to get where they need to be. This means the Decimator and Plague Marines are going against my left firebase, although I should be able to get them some reinforcements at some point. The rest of the army is staring down the Commanders, as expected.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
-1 to Hit goes on the Pox Riders, as does Virulent Blessing, making that unit truly frightening. One model also gets healed for the Wound he took via Fleshy Abundance. One Smite goes onto my Shield Drones but they make both 5+ Saves. Thanks FAQ. Another Smite kills 2 Shield Drones on the right.

Once again the Decimator shoots into my Infantry on the left, taking a Wound but killing 3 Fire Warriors with help from the Plague Marines. Overall it was a lot less damage than I expected to take.

Frog Pistols kill 1 Shield Drone, helping to make room for their Charge, and the remaining Plague Marines achieve nothing with some bad rolls and some nice Saves from me.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
Charges quickly turn into an orgy of violence as both Princes make it in, although one only makes contact with the Kroot Hounds. Overwatch from me does 2 Wounds to one Prince, nothing to the other. The Pox Riders also get into two Commanders, taking 3 Wounds and two Heroic Interventions for their efforts. Finally the Decimator gets into the Kroot Hounds on the left who are holding the Objective I need.

Demon Princes mince all my Kroot Hounds but only put 4 Wounds onto one Commander thanks to my Drones, the one Demon Prince Consolidates into Combat with the Commanders. The Decimator kills one Kroot Hound and takes a Wound back, leaving me with control of the Objective barring a disastrous Morale Check.

Pox Riders do 2 Wounds to a Commander and 4 Wounds to the other, I was able to deny some attacks with a Heroic Intervention pinning a model in place but not able to attack me since I wasn't a Charge target. In return I do 1 Wound to the Pox Riders and 4 Wounds to the Demon Prince, leaving him on 2. Tau win Combat!

Score
0 | 0

Objectives!

















Tau Turn 2

Movement Phase
This time I roll Destroy a Unit and Hold Enemy Objective 2. This is the one that the two Plague Marines are near, so I should be able to clear that without issue. Last Turn I achieved both Objectives, giving me two Points.

I'm still recovering from my iffy decision making on Turn 1 but I start with the simple stuff as all the Commanders Fall Back from Combat. I make a bit of a semi-circle around the Princes, although this is a mistake as it doesn't let me get as many guns as I should onto the extremely wounded one.

My Kroot Hounds also flee from the Decimator and get into Cover/out of LoS, I don't have much for them to do right now so I just want them out of the thick of things. My other Hound unit gets in the way of the Pox Riders, they can Fly over but I can make the landing much more awkward and force their shooting. All of my Commanders on Nick's side start moving onto Objective 2.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Again I have little to no Markerlights where I need them so I just decide to forego them. My preferred targets are the Pxo Riders, which I need a 6 to hit and have very little LoS to without moving and turning that into a 7+, and I'm not close enough to the Princes. To that end I dump all my S5 shots on the left into the Decimator, doing 4 Wounds and leaving him on 2 in an expected flurry. My other chaff shooting and one Commander goes into the badly damaged Prince but leaves him on 1 Wound and without other shots available. A lone Commander Overcharges and finishes off the Decimator.

The other Commanders on my back edge go into the partner Prince, leaving him on 3 Wounds. Behind enemy lines the Commanders kill the two Plague Marines to secure the Objective for me and then put the remaining shots into the Pox Riders, as does everyone else. This ends up killing 3 and having 4 floating Wounds. All of this is without Overcharing as it's just guaranteed Mortal Wounds on me at this point and I need to preserve my guys.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
I briefly entertain throwing a ton of S3 models into the 1 Wound Demon Prince, but it's just not a good idea. The Pox Riders pass their Morale but none come back.

Score
0 | 2 for Tau








Chaos Turn 3

Movement Phase
Objectives are Destroy a Unit and Friendly Objective 1, which is in the ruins on Nick's center. He also killed more than three units last turn so he scores three Points.

All the Psykers Advance except Necrosius who's eyeing a Charge, the rest just want to get in Smite range. The flying corpses of the Princes move behind the Commanders just to make room for everyone else. In the center one Marine unit moves back into the ruins to hold the Objective, the other moves up a bit to get into better shooting range of my Infantry. Finally the frogs forward but can't get passed the Kroot wall.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
One Prince gets healed for 2 Wounds, taking him back up to 3, Virulent Blessing goes on the Pox Riders but Miasma is out of range, it instead goes on the less harmed Demon Prince. One Smite and Plague Wind fail to cast, another Smite goes off with an 11 and does 3 Wounds, killing 3 Drones.

The Plague Marines on my left finish off the last two models in my damaged Fire Warrior unit while the Pox Riders kill one Hound. Some single shots go out from the other Marines but fail to do anything through my Drones.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
Once again I get Charged by the Pox Riders and Demon Princes, the Plague Marines near my edge also Charge a lone Gun Drone. Overwatch does 1 Wound to the badly injured Demon Prince, leaving him on 2.

Combat has my Gun Drone die as well as other Drones near the Commanders but all the important models survive. Particularly the Pox Riders are very ineffective since they don't have many attacks left and are hitting on 4's, Wounding on 4's/5's with bad AP. I do nothing much bad but do finish off a Pox Rider by doing 1 Wound. The Plague Marines Consolidated into Cover.

Morale does nothing as per usual and we go over to my turn.

Score
3 | 2 for Chaos

Objective Roll













Tau Turn 3

Movement Phase
I take Destroy a Unit and Friendly Objective 1. I don't think I'll be able to get this but I can't get Nick's Objective 1 either since I'm too far away from it. My hope is to deny him more points as long as he's not doubling down on Destroying my Units and then eventually he will have difficulty doing that.

Once again everybody Falls Back from Combat, not much else moves other than my Commander calling Mont'ka and Advancing along with a pal to the Plague Marines on the Objective. The others start moving "down" towards my table edge.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Again I just don't do Markerlights since I'm still out of position on targets that reward them. All my chaff shooting on the left goes into the Plague Marines but can't dent them. The 2 Wound Demon Prince goes down and the other is left with a Wound, I also kill 2 Plague Marines from the unit on the Objective.

2 Pox Riders die from Shooting but Nick's Disgustingly Resilient Rolls are on complete fire, I also put 2 Wounds on the Herald on the right while killing the other.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
Since I didn't do the damage I needed in Shooting thanks to great rolls from Nick I put two Commanders into the frogs, three into the Herald, and two into the Plague Marines in the ruins. Overwatch does nothing.

In Combat I leave the Herald on 1 Wound, kill 1 Plague Marine, and kill 1 Pox Rider. I take no damage in return.

Morale has no impact on the Plague Marines but the Pox Riders roll a 5, which is re-rolled with a Command Point into a 6. This wipes out the unit and at this point NIck concedes the game. Finally tally for him is one Herald on 1 Wound, Necrosius, the Plaguecaster, 8 Plague Marines, and a Demon Prince on 1 Wound.

Score
3 | 4 for the Tau

Major Victory for the Tau!

Objective Roll









Post-Game Thoughts


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