The Xenos incursion was swift and resolute in this system. Within a matter of days every Imperial navy ship had been either destroyed or captured, and the local Planetary Defence Force proved little to no resistance against the superior weaponry of the Tau. Any survivors that had not accepted submission into the false Xeno empire had either fled into the wastelands, or formed small gangs of militia who spent more time fighting each other than the enemies of mankind.
Lt. col. Myron of the 101st had gone through every report and vox transmission from the initial assault on Verdis Prime in order to study the tactics of his alien adversary. Co-ordinated suppressive fire with guided targeting missiles and pulse weapons, followed by jet deployed specialist strike teams of battlesuits and drones. The Tau were a well equipped and seasoned host of warriors, but one thing they had not: the Emperor’s blessing. Operation Adamant Wedge was under way and the 101st, supported by a small group of Grey Knights, were the speardhead. The plan was as bold as dauntless: after establishing a firing line with elysian recon forces, the rest of the army would strike from above and deploy using the High Altitude Combat Drop-doctrine. Myron looked at brother Captain Severus on the other side of the briefing table. A stern warrior cleric clad in ancient terminator armor, decorated with the sacred insignias of the Inquisition, stood in silence as the staff team overlooked holographic maps and attack patterns. Myron’s requests of having a small unit of Terminators dispatched to the 101st for the initial assault had finally been granted. “Make your peace with the Emperor, brother Captain…” he said, “…we make planetfall in 6 hours!”.
Welcome back to yet another Warhammer 40.000 8th edition battlereport, this time between my Elysian 101st Light Drop company, and (parts of) Jacob’s Tau Farsight enclave! This was a Matched Play game between two 1500pt armies. We chose to play the ‘Retrieval Mission’ scenario and rolled off to start deploying four objective markers. Jacob won the roll off and placed an objective on top of the skyshield landing pad, I then placed an objective in the large ruin on the opposite corner of the table. Jacob placed the third objective a couple of inches from the center of the table, right in front of the smaller ruin, and I placed the final objective behind the red silo close to the overgrown vehicle wreck. Each objective is worth 3 victory points at the end of the game to the player who controls it, and additional victory points can be scored for ‘slaying the warlord’, drawing ‘first blood’ and securing ‘linebreaker’. Since I got to place the final objective I then chose the ‘Frontline Assault’ deployment map, allowing Jacob to start deploying his units, as per the scenario rules for setting up the game. Please note that the army lists we used were in no way optimized for competitive play, but rather made up of the painted units we used in our 7th edition armies. Therefore, some special weapons, options, and upgrades may seem odd or unjustified. As a final disclaimer, some photos came out a bit blurry due to some lighting issues during the game, but hopefully they’ll give a good enough picture of how the battle progressed. Enjoy!
Elysian Droptroops Vanguard Detachment (3+1 Command Points) HQ
Company commander: powerfist (Warlord)
Command squad: 4x plasmaguns
Veteran squad: 2x plasmaguns, 1x meltagun 1x missile launcher, vox
Veteran squad: 3x meltaguns, shotguns, vox
3x Drop Sentinels: multimeltas, 3x HKM
3x Drop Sentinels: multimeltas
Officer of the fleet
Tauros Venator: twin lascannon, 1x HKM
2x Tauros assault: tauros grenadelaunchers
Droptrooper infantry squad: flamer, vox, krak grenades
Grey Knights Terminator squad: 1x Nemesis deamonhammer, 1x psycannon, 1x nemesis force falchions, 3x nemesis force halberds
Droptrooper heavy weapons squad: 2x heavy bolters, 1x missile launcher
Vulture: twin punisher cannons
Brother Captain Severus and his unit of Grey Knight terminators.
The two company commanders and an officer of the fleet.
Veteran Droptroopers with shotguns and meltaguns.
A company command squad with 4 plasmaguns, such a cost efficient unit!
Drop sentinels and heavy weapon squads.
Some of the sentinels have Hunter killer missiles.
I finally get to play the Tauros Venator in the new edition.
Recon elements of the 101st Light Drop Company.
The dreaded Vulture, now with 40 shots and a bad attitude!
Fredrik deploys 7 units in total on the table, and keeps another 7 in reserves. The Terminators, a veteran squad, his Warlord, a unit of Drop sentinels, the Officer of the fleet, the Vulture gunship, and the plasma equiped command squad are all kept in reserves ready to deploy using either ‘Aerial deployment’ or ‘Teleport strike’!
A Tau commander equipped with a Coldstar battlesuit.
XV8 Crisis battlesuit teams with specialized weapon outfits. Most units in Jacob’s army have the ‘Fly’ keyword, rendering the ‘Strafing run’ ability of the Vulture pretty much useless.
Three XV88 Broadsides provide the Tau with some much needed fire support!
Jacob’s pathfinders, a beautifully posed and painted unit!
Jacob deploys his forces as follows, and keeps both Crisis teams in reserve ready to deep strike them right where they’re needed during the game!
A wounded officer, such a fitting objective marker for the ‘Retrieval’ scenario!
Elysian Droptrooper infantry supported by Sentinels and Tauros buggies.
The Coldstar Commander hovering above his mobile firebase.
Pathfinders staying stealthy underneath one of the ruins.
Fire support squads deploy in cover of what seems to be the remains of a burnt down grove.
The center of the Tau deployment zone is made up of Broadsides, drones, and the commander.
The Venator is set up in cover of the ruined factory building.
Veterans are deployed in position to give supporting fire with plasmaguns and missile launchers to supress the enemy before the Aerial assault begins!
After both armies have deployed, Jacob uses his ‘Vanguard’ move to get the pathfinders in a better position to provide his army with marker light support. A great move!
Fredrik responds by using his ‘Vanguard’ ability to move a unit of Dropsentinels up the mid field, this will provide his center with a 9″ ‘bubble’ that will keep Jacobs crisis teams from deepstriking to close to vulnerable spots!
Jacob then takes the first turn. The entire Tau army stays quite static to not risk any negative modifiers for moving and shooting heavy weapons. At the end of the movement phase Jacob calls down his first Crisis battlesuit unit and deep strikes them onto the skyshield landing pad!
As the first shooting phase begins, the entire Tau battleline lights up the horizon. Jacob activates his commander’s ability to give all ‘Tau Empire’ units within 6″ a well needed re-roll to hit. Fredrik prepares for the incoming iron rain!
Veterans take some incoming fire but manage to shrug off most hits., only taking two casualties.
Jacob manages to place 3 markerlights on the vanguarding sentinels, and unleashes a deadly salvo of rail rifle fire, high yeild and smart missiles, exploding the walkers one after the other! This earns Jacob ‘First blood!’
The deep striking Crisis teams open up on the weapon teams with their burstcannons but only manage to down a single team. The rest of the squad keep their cool and pass their morale check.
A couple of smart missiles also hit home on the Droptrooper infantry squad, inflicting a total of 8 casualties, the remaining two soldiers deserts from the battlefield due to a failed morale test.
Fredrik starts his first turn by scaling the industrial building with his Veteran droptroopers in order to get his plasmaguns in range. The officer of the fleet also enters the battlefield using grav-chute technology provided by the Elysian regiments.
The Vulture gunship arrives just in time to light up the pathfinder team that is providing Jacob’s army with the vital marker light support!
Fredrik chooses to deploy two of his specialist squads in the forest to counter the Crisis team on the landing pad. A command squad and the Veteran droptrooper squad with melta- and shotguns make ground contact just in range to return fire!
The Grey Knight terminators who were placed in the teleport chamber also manage to find a sweet spot 9″ behind Jacob’s army and teleports into battle!
The second squad of Drop sentinels land right in front of the Broadsides to put some pressure on Jacob’s center. Thanks to the early warning override systems Jacob gets to shoot at the incoming reserves! Fearing to lose his Warlord, Fredrik keeps his last company commander in the tactical reserve.
One of the Drop sentinels go down, while another takes a wound, to the Tau intercepting fire.
Heavy weapon squads, Tauros grenade launchers and missile launcher fire removes some of Jacob’s drones which keeps the Broadsides unharmed for the entire shooting phase!
On the landing platform, overcharged plasmaguns with the “Take aim!’ order, as well as shotgun and meltagun fire proves to much for the Crisis battlesuits to withstand, thus wiping the entire unit!
The Vulture gunship opens up with it’s twin Punisher gatling cannons, benefitting from the ‘Re-roll 1s’ ability of the nearby officer of the fleet, and inflicts a total of 11 hits on the pathfinder team! Ouch!
As the muzzle flashes and gunfire goes silent, both armies have lost two units each, this will be a bloody game indeed! In the assault phase, Fredrik fails to make the 9″ charge for the Terminators (even with a command re-roll), thus failing to lock two of the broadsides in combat….
During Tau turn 2 the broadsides reload their missile systems and prepares to unleash another salvo!
Jacob calls down his second Crisis team to clear out the objective on the far side of the table!
The Coldstar commander takes to the skies and makes a skyleap towards Jacob’s left flank.
Jacob then enters his shooting phase by placing two rockets from the commander into the Venator which dodge both hits with it’s 5+ invulnerable save!
The commander then puts a well aimed volley of burstcannon fire into the Veterans on the second level of the ruin. The Veterans take heavy losses from the deep striking Crisis teams forcing a heavy morale check on the unit who runs off the field.
The broadsides split their fire between the Terminator squad in the back and the Drop sentinels in front of them…
…blowing up another sentinel, and killing two of the Grey Knights who weather the storm!
Sensing their deadly potential Jacob fires off a couple of smart missile systems to clear out the command squad in the woods.
During his turn 2, Fredrik moves the heavy weapon teams from the safety of the woods in order to respond to the new threat of the Crisis battlesuits.
Tauros assault buggies moves across the battlefield at high speed to chase down the Recon drone who managed to survive the Vulture strafing the Pathfinders.
The venator chase after the Coldstar commander, twin lascannons ready to engage on sight!
In an artful manouvre the Vulture steers left and locks his sights on a new target.
The threat of the advancing terminators. Still fearing to lose his Warlord Fredrik keeps the company commander off table for one more turn. If he’s not deployed by the end of turn 3 he will count as being destroyed!
Using the ‘Move and fire!’ order, Fredrik gets to shoot his heavy bolters as if they were ‘Assault’ weapons, a clever move!
Which clears some drones from the Crisis team!
The Venator lands a lascannon shot into the Tau commander who fails both his shield generator and stimulant injector rolls (even with a Command re-roll). Scoring only a single wound of damage Fredrik then uses a Command point to re-roll the die, managing to inflict a solid 5 on the second roll!
Seeing how close he is to a Warlord kill, Fredrik chooses to fire the Vulture gunship into the Coldstar battlesuit instead of the Crisis team ahead. Despite hitting on 5’s Fredrik score enough hits to force a handfull of failed armor saves. The large battlesuit crashes to the ground, leaving a plume of black smoke behind…
As if things weren’t bad enough, the Grey Knight squad makes a successfull assault into one of the Broadside suits.
Brother Captain Severus lands a powerful blow with his Nemesis deamonhammer into the back of the battlesuit, killing it in an instant!
The last Drop sentinel also completes a charge into a broadside but both units fail to inflict any wounds. At the start of his third turn, Jacob falls back out of combat to be able to shoot at the sentinel again.
Using their jetpacks, the Crisis team launches themselves onto the second level of the ruin to secure the objective. The rapid firing plasmarifles puts a single wound on the Vulture Gunship above!
Once again Jacob splits his missile fire and takes out the final Drop sentinel but fails to inflict any wounds on the Terminators threatening the last Broadsides.
Fredrik starts his third turn by advancing his Veteran droptroopers onto the landing pad, The Elysian company commander now enters the battlefield and makes a smooth landing behind his troops, ready to lead them from the front!
The Venator swings around to take pot shots at the Crisis team on top of the ruin
In order to respond to the threat of the Crisis teams, Fredrik enters ‘Hover mode’ with the Vulture and lights up the taget on the leveled platform. Both Crisis suits are destroyed due to some unlucky armor saves!
The Tauros assault buggies finally chase down the Recon drone who is lurking behind cover to grab one of the objectives in the late game!
After yet another deadly assault phase Jacob loses his second Broadside to the Grey Knight strike team! In a final stand, Jacob starts his fourth turn by opening fire into the Terminators but fails to inflict any damage….
At the start of turn 4, the Tau general concedes which earns the Droptroops their second crushing victory in the new edition of the game! As the rangers secure the objectives, any remaining Xeno scum are relieved of their miserable lives!
The wounded officer is retrieved and safely returned to his staff. All is as the Emperor wills!
After action thoughts
Jacob: After beeing away from the hobby for a good twelve months this was the game to get me interested again. Not that I ever really lost interest in it, but there is a lot to do here in the world. The conditions were perfect: well painted armies, board and terrain, and of top of that a new edition. For me this was a walkthrough of 8th as well as a walkthrough of the new rules for T’au in 8th, very exiting! Overall, the match was a good one. My plan was to shoot with Broadsides, and make awesome surgical tactical teleportation strikes (place them on the board more then 9″ away from enemy unit and unleash hell) with my two teams of Crisis suits wherever they were needed. My first turn of shooting with my Broadsides made an impact. My commander used his ability Kauyon (giving re-rolls of to hit to friendlies within 6″), so nothing else was expected. To my Crisis suits all I can say is, YOU ARE ALL FIRED! As you probably have read I lost the game. But don’t feel sorry for me, this is the best part. The process of trying out new things (and throwing out the old), the creativity in list making, exploring new units and ways to play the game is what makes Warhammer 40k interesting to me. Losing a game is really boosting this. The T’au empire will be back for a rematch, that I promise you!
Fredrik Well I’ll be damned! Another one in the loop for the Elysians! This game was very interesting, both in terms of the points increase from my last game (allowing me to take more unique units), and in terms of facing off against my most feared opponent – the Tau enclaves! When Jacob opened up with his 24 high yield missiles and 24 smart missile systems with re-rolls to hit I thought I was in for a bad day. And I sort was at an early stage as he cleared off a whole unit of infantry and my expensive sentinels. This forced me to position my reserve units to deal at least an equal blow back to the Tau, and boy they did. The overcharged plasmas on a cheap command squad with orders once again proved deadly by wiping out an entire unit of Crisis suits. And the Vulture? What’s not to love?! A beautiful model with a heavy damage output versus units of fragile and unsupported infantry. That strafing run on the building during turn 1 will be remembered for a long time. Even though the Elysians have gotten a whole lot better in this edition, I think the unit that made this victory possible was the teleporting Grey Knight Terminators who soaked up a lot of fire and really pressured his back line. Kudos for being awesome again termies… I’m really looking forward to playing again, and by then, lets hope we see some awesome mecha robots (read Riptides and Stormsurges) on the blog!