2K Tournament - Prologue

I tried to get a couple of practice games in, but ultimately I just couldn't manage to fit in a full-length outing; the best I got were a few turns during the open gaming periods at Black Knight. That meant the three-round tournament on the 28th would be my first real foray into 6th edition 40K, and my first chance to put all the theory I'd been absorbing as fast as I could from the 40K blogosphere into practice. It would also be a 2000 point tournament, with no artificially-imposed restrictions on what the players could bring; double FOC, Allies, and Fortifications were all in. Which made it all sorts of tempting to just go crazy and bring along everything and the kitchen sink, throwing all sorts of strange new units and tactics and combinations onto the field and seeing what worked and what didn't. Ultimately, though, my natural inclination towards moderation won out.

My Cadre:
Shas'el w/Twin-Linked Missile Pod, Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Hard-Wired Multi-Tracker, Hard-Wired Blacksun Filter
Blood Angels Captain (Allies) w/Power Sword, Jump Pack

3 x XV8 w/3 x Missile Pod, 3 x Plasma Rifle, 3 x Multi-Tracker
3 x XV8 w/3 x Missile Pod, 3 x Plasma Rifle, 3 x Multi-Tracker
3 x XV8 w/3 x Twin-Linked Missile Pod, 3 x Flamer

8 x Fire Warriors w/Devilfish, Flechette Discharger
8 x Fire Warriors w/Devilfish, Flechette Discharger
8 x Fire Warriors
5 x Death Company (Allies) w/5 x Jump Pack

5 x Pathfinders w/Devilfish, Flechette Discharger

2 x XV88 w/2 x ASS, Team Leader w/Hard-Wired Blacksun Filter
2 x XV88 w/2 x ASS, Team Leader w/Hard-Wired Blacksun Filter
Hammerhead w/Railgun, 2 x Burst Cannon, Multi-Tracker, Blacksun Filter, Disruption Pod

So, just two Allies units, a Captain and 5 Death Company, and nothing else. I was hoping to have a Tau-designed Aegis Defence Line ready to go, but alas, it was not to be; converting the 'experimental' XV25s to stand in for a BA Captain and Death Company took more time than I'd expected them to. I also went back and forth on the nature of my allies for a while. Captain, or Librarian? Death Company, or Assault Squad? Sanguinary Priest? Ultimately, I decided the Captain's invulnerable save outweighed the Librarian's psychic powers, and that while a Sanguinary Priest could pass FNP to the HQ choice, he could also be sniped or challenged out of the squad, while the only way to deny FNP to the Death Company would be to hit them with S8+ weapons. Finally, I squeezed a power sword onto my captain, so his superior initiative would allow him to thin out any power armoured herds the unit might get thrown against, leaving the whopping five attacks per Death Company model, on the charge, to simply overwhelm the survivors through sheer weight of numbers.

As for my core force, there were just a few changes from my usual 2K list, discounting the units dropped to make room for Allies. The Tau FAQ has removed the battlesuit Target Lock, so that fell away from my commander and XV88s, and the new Jink save for skimmers meant the disruption pod was mostly unnecessary, especially on Devilfish, who could go Flat Out in the shooting phase for a save that was actually superior to that provided by the wargear at the cost of foregoing shooting I rarely used, anyway. I wavered on the Hammerhead, but ultimately decided to leave it's disruption pod on, to defend against the threat of alpha strikes taking it out before I had a chance to get it moving. Hull points already make vehicles more vulnerable, no sense making the risk any greater than it has to be.

My plan, generally speaking, was to play a traditional Tau shooting game; spread out, hug the edges, use superior range to inflict significant casualties. With Firewarriors now able to walk and shoot their full 30", they could finally contribute alongside, well, everything else in the army; missile pods, plasma rifles, markerlights, SMS and railguns. And with the drop in cover saves and the introduction of both closest-to-closest casualties, Focus Fire and Overwatch, I had some confidence that my units would be able to reliably put down even large foot lists before they could get the majority of their units up into my face. And for those armies that did have either the speed or the deep strike capabilities to get up close and personal, I had a new weapon in my arsenal, an actually competent assault unit. Six jump packs mean six Hammer of Wrath attacks from the get-go, plus five power weapon attacks from the Captain and twenty-five followup attacks from the Death Company. Combined with 3+ armour and FNP, even if it is 5+ instead of 4+ now, and not only could they dish it out, they could take it, too. True, they wouldn't be any real help against Terminators and Monstrous Creatures, but that's okay; those things would be the province of my guns, not my swords, if they dared to show their faces. The experimental XV25s, which just happened to have the same points costs, statlines and special rules as a BA Captain and some Death Company, were for handling large units of weak troops or small units of mid-level assault troops, and within that role there was every reason to expect them to be able to perform to my expectations.

So, that was my army, and my strategy. And how did it work? Well, since this tournament represented my first real outing with 6th, I've decided to do something a little different. Instead of rolling all three fights into a single post, I'm going to break them up into their own posts, and try and justify that by going into greater detail about what worked, what didn't, and how all the new rules shook out under the circumstances. So, join me next time, when we see whether the cold, precision fire of Tau Empire can stand off the hot-blooded fury of those great 5th edition boogeymen, Nob bikerz!

No comments:

Post a Comment