Opponent: Brad Lee
Deployment: Dawn of War
Mission: The Scouring
Librarian w/Terminator Armour
10 x Death Company w/Land Raider
10 x Death Company w/Land Raider
Death Company Dreadnought
5 x Devastators w/4 x Plasma Cannon
5 x Devastators w/4 x Lascannon
I was joking with Brad about his army design, which has no scoring elements; he said if an objective mission rolled up, his best bet was to go for the tabling! And lo and behold, the Scouring; let's see how a non-scoring force does in a six-objective mission, shall we?
I won the roll-off, and although nothing was Deep Striking I went with the bunker for my Aegis; I'm honestly not sure what I was thinking. Anyway, I had my usual 'tank and quad in the middle, ringed by suits, ringed by wall' arrangement, with a unit of Fire Warriors along the front line, while one of my XV88 squads and a unit of Fire Warriors were on my right flank near a bit of ruin, and the third Fire Warrior squad and my 'El with Deathrains were on the left-centre. Brad put a Reclusiarch with each squad of Death Company and piled them into their Land Raiders, while the Librarian and Dreadnought embarked on the Stormraven. The two Devastator squads were on either flank, the plasma cannons on my right, and the Land Raiders were in the middle, with a large ruined church between me and them, for the cover save. Brad failed to seize, and good heavens, did I make him pay for that!
At the start of my first turn, there were two tanks and ten Marines on the table; at the end, there were two tanks and two Marines. Aside from the XV88s, whose rounds true to form bounced harmlessly off the Land Raiders, I threw everything I had at those Devastators, with tremendous results. The plasma cannon squad simply disappeared, scoring me First Blood, while one of the lascannon Marines and the sergeant hung on. And the most amusing part was, it was all done with AP4 and 5 weapons; those Marines got to take every single one of their 3+ saves. Just goes to show, even the vaunted Space Marines will go down if you force them to roll enough dice. Somewhat shocked by the ferocity of my opening salvo, Brad revved his Land Raiders into the church, while the sole lascannon aimed for my right-side XV88. Thankfully, cover protected him, though the lascannons on the Land Raiders did manage to pop one of my Fireknife suits. Thankfully, they didn't break.
Turn two, both my reserve units came in. My assault element (back to being a Captain, Sanguinary Priest and 5 Marines after the underwhelming performance last game) dropped in the back, near the Lascannon team, while the Stormraven had just enough room to stop an inch short of the Land Raider on my left. Its lascannon and multi-melta managed to blow that tracked behemoth to pieces, despite the cover of the ruins, spilling surviving Death Company out to face the same torrent of fire that so slaughtered the Devastators. And yet again Tau firepower, properly focused, dealt overwhelming amounts of damage. When I finally ran out of guns only the Reclusiarch had survived, wounded, while the assault squad never even got to charge as my right-side Fire Warriors picked off the surviving Devastators.
Unfortunately, I didn't get it all my way. Brad's own reserves arrived, his Stormraven threatening mine until Interceptor fire from my quad gun forced him to Evade. And the surviving Land Raider drove clear up to the edge of my little bunker and emptied out its contents, the Death Company, joined by the second Reclusiarch, multi-charging my two Fireknife squads. I couldn't even cost him anything with Overwatch before thirty attacks, re-rolling misses, absolutely slaughtered a handful of Tau XV8s.
Again, however, concentrated fire proved my saviour. While my infantry Allies hustled for the three-point objective on Brad's side of the table, almost everything else turned on the Death Company. The only exceptions were my Stormraven, which flew off the board to get a better attack run next turn, and my XV88s, which were preoccupied with failing to kill the Land Raider. Everything else opened up on the Death Company, however, and once again they melted away like a snowflake in a furnace. The two Reclusiarchs were on their own, but stubbornly refused to die. Brad switched his Stormraven over to hover, dropping his Librarian and Dreadnought, while his Reclusiarchs went for my XV88s and his Land Raider's lascannons wrecked my Hammerhead and the assault cannon mowed down Fire Warriors. In assault, however, even with the power of their mauls his Reclusiarchs just could not make a wound stick through my 2+ saves, while my own measly four attacks failed to connect. Combat was drawn, and would continue, indefinitely in fact. Rather more decisive was the Dreadnought's charge into my left-flank Fire Warrior squad, the big beast unsurprisingly crushing them in combat and then running them down with a sweeping advance.
Arriving from ongoing reserves, my Stormraven set out to avenge my Hammerhead, while my unengaged XV88 turned to take advantage of the now-hovering enemy Stormraven. Both vehicles went down in flames, while the Librarian and Dreadnought perished under a hail of bolts and missile fire, the latter exploding just shy of my 'El and his Deathrains. The only survivors, at the end of the battle, were the two Reclusiarchs, who I might have been able to kill by feeding more squads in there, but it was hardly a sure thing. Rather than tabling me, it was Brad and his non-scoring force that nearly got that treatment. And my assault Marines spent the entire game in Brad's deployment zone, accomplishing nothing but holding a 3-point objective and scoring Linebreaker.
Results: 3-0 primary, 2-0 secondary, Tau forces capture Hive City tile