The Fate of Bavgad Prime IV – Week 4

Opponent: Graham Wilson
Deployment: Spearhead
Objective: Annihilation

Librarian w/Terminator Armour
5 x Terminators w/2 x Psycannon, Stormraven
10 x Strike Squad
5 x Strike Squad w/Rhino, Psycannon
5 x Strike Squad w/Razorback, twin-linked Heavy Bolter, Psybolt ammo
Vindicare assassin
Dreadnought w/twin-linked Autocannon, Psybolt Ammo

I hadn't fought Graham in a while, and I do like a challenge, so I decided to try and invade some of his territory. I've always maintained that, contrary to what one might think, the Tau Empire codex is actually very well suited to dealing with Grey Knights; lots of high-strength, low-AP firepower on mobile platforms, plus torrenting power from Firewarriors, Devilfish and the Hammerhead's large blast to force a Grey Knight player to keep rolling saves. And sooner or later, those 1's and 2's always show up. The only real time Tau are pretty much out of luck when it comes to Grey Knights are in annihilation games, but having rolled three of those already, it seemed impossible that I might get stuck with a fourth such mission.

Unfortunately, that one-in-three chance decided to turn up, for the fourth week in a row.

Already on the back foot with the objective, I managed to deploy poorly, as well. As usual, I aimed for the 'twin firebase' deployment. Unfortunately, Spearhead meant I didn't have the separation between armies I need, since of course Graham had deployed aggressively, right up on the 12" line from the centre. And once I failed to seize, well, Graham brought the hurt.

It didn't actually start off that badly. On his first turn, Graham sent the Stormraven flat-out onto my right firebase, while the Dreadnought, Razorback and Vindicare picked away at my left firebase. After some bad rolls on his part and some good rolls on mine, however, his first turn of shooting amounted to nothing at all. My own shooting wasn't much better, though, with most of my army's shooting required to drop that Stormraven, which then disgorged its payload of Terminators and the attached Librarian right on my right firebase's doorstep. The following turn Graham turned those Psycannons on the rear armour of my Hammerhead, exploding it, while the dismounted Strike Squad moved up to threaten my XV8s and the Strike Squad in the Rhino cruised over to explode my Devilfish, killing most of the Firewarriors inside in the process. With my right-most firebase eaten alive, there was little hope left. My commander heroically managed to pin the Strike Squad with his AFP, and the fire of my surviving Fireknife squad killed all but one of the Terminators and the Librarian, while the Vindicare and the Dreadnought eventually succumbed to the Deathrains' fire. By the end of the game, however, I was left with nothing but a Devilfish, a squad of Firewarriors and those Deathrains, while Graham had only lost the Dreadnought, Vindicare and Stormraven, giving him seven kill points to my three.

I still maintain that Tau can take Grey Knights. But if it's Annihilation, and you don't deploy just so, well, it's going to be a little trickier to pull that off than it might otherwise be.

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