Tau Heavy Support – Part 2: These Guns Aren't Getting Any Smaller!

I just realized, I never actually got around to putting  up the last of my Codex: Tau Empire reviews.  Well, let's correct that little oversight, shall we?

Last time we started on the Heavy Support slot, and unexpectedly got bogged down in the infantry choices. So now here we are in part two, and it's finally time to talk about the tanks. And oh, what tanks they are!

Relics of Treasure - Week 3

Round 3: 1650
Deployment: Dawn of War

Scott (Space Marines: Iron Hands)
Captain w/Artificier Armour, Power Weapon, The Shield Eternal, Relic (Furious Charge)
10 x Sternguard w/2 x Melta, 3 x Combi-Melta, Drop Pod
5 x Legion of the Damned
10 x Tacticals w/Power Weapon, Plasma Gun, Lascannon, Rhino
10 x Tacticals w/Power Weapon, Plsama Gun, Lascannon, Rhino
5 x Devastators w/3 x Lascannon
Aegis Defence Line w/Quad Gun

Coming off a defeat and a draw, I was itching to put a mark in the win column, and Scott's Marines seemed a reasonable target to hit to go get it. Only a single drop pod, no real close combat units, no major artillery and, having dropped my flyer for more suits on the ground, the Stalker wasn't going to be doing too much. On the other hand, there were no small number of lascannons on the far side of the table, and I've yet to meet the Stormraven that doesn't inspire at least one moment of heart-stopping fear when it aims its multi-melta square at one's most valuable tank. So I wasn't going into this with my eyes closed; any fight with Space Marines is a serious fight, and I was taking this seriously. Especially since, once more, there was a mysterious relic at play in the centre of the table.


Relics of Treasure - Week 2

Round 2: 1575
Deployment: Dawn of War

Thom Morden (Chaos Daemons)
Great Unclean One w/Mastery Level 3, Greater Reward, Exalted Reward, Relic (+1T)
10 x Plaguebearers of Nurgle
10 x Plaguebearers of Nurgle
15 Flesh Hounds of Khorne
Daemon Prince w/ML3, Mark of Nurgle, 2 x Greater Reward; daemonic flight; warp-forged armour
Daemon Prince w/ML3, Mark of Nurgle, 2 x Greater Reward; daemonic flight; warp-forged armour
Soul Grinder w/Mark of Nurgle, Phlegm Bombardment

Thom's a good guy, a friend of my best friend's little brother, actually. We've played in a doubles tournament together before, and are planning to do so again. In the not so distant future (read, next Saturday).  Unfortunately, I don't really have any experience fighting against him, and even just a pair of FMCs makes me a bit nervous. Not least because every one of his MCs managed to roll up Iron Arm, amongst other things, on Biomancy. Because if there's anything Nurgle daemons need, it's even more toughness!


Shiny, indeed!

I don't care, I'm still free...

Despite Fox' best efforts I watched Firefly in 2002, when it first aired, in its weird anarchic order.  I bought the dvd box set basically as soon as it was released.  I dragged every friend I had to see Serenity in theatres, on multiple occasions.  I own both the regularly and collector's edition of Serenity.  I've read Those Left Behind, and Better Days, and The Shepherd's Tale.  I even know what Inara's secret needle kit was going to be.

So you can only imagine how thrilled I am by this announcement:


Relics of Treasure - Intro and Week 1

The latest league has started up at Black Knight Games, my friendly local hobby shop, and it's quite the doozy.  Not only is it nine weeks long, instead of the usual six, but it's got a whole host of unique rules and restrictions in play, courtesy of the much-ignored variable terrain rules from the later part of the big rulebook.  This promises to be a campaign like none other!

There's an actual player pack for this thing; for those interested in it, there's a pdf up of it, available here. For those who don't want to go through the whole thing, let me give you the highlights. The league is a tile-based campaign, with everyone starting with a single tile and each victory seizing another one to add to your points overall. No special or named characters; every game is played under the Ice World rules (Dangerous Terrain rolls fail on a 1 and 2, and Gets Hot weapons don't); lightning storms will strike on a 1 each turn, either forcing flyers to hover or to take a S7 hit; every game is Crusade, with D3+2 objectives; any Infantry model can hold an objective.

The big thing, however, is the Relic system. Each warlord starts off with a single Relic upgrade, and gains new ones by either seizing the secondary Relic objective in each mission, or killing the enemy warlord in a challenge (or both). There's a d6+d6 table to roll on, providing a full 36 possible options, though in each of the six sections there is an Explodes result, in which you get nothing. The relic effects can be stacked, and if you get a double that doesn't (having Fear twice, for instance) you're allowed a re-roll.

From a Tau perspective, the campaign rules have a couple of obvious effects. First, the increased risk of dangerous terrain will make it more dangerous to jump crisis suits in and out of nasty pieces of cover to get a better shooting angle. At a one-in-six chance this can be an entirely reasonable risk to take to get a better shooting angle; at one-in-three, however, it means that statistically it'll happen to your three-suit squad every single turn. To me, though, that's more than offset by the fact that Gets Hot stops being a thing. Ion weapons, already good, become even better with these rules in place, to the point where I almost considered trying to find some way to make use of the cyclic ion blaster. But the ion accelerator, the ion cannon and the quad ion turret all get a significant boost from the reliability of no longer having to risk Gets Hot rolls. This is especially useful on the ion accelerator with early warning override, as it means you can reliably pull off the blast against deep striking units of 3+ and 2+ models while they're maximally clumped together. Given that two of these weapons (the cannon and accelerator) were things Tau wanted to bring along from the start, this increased reliability is immense. Honestly, I even considered trying to incorporate the cyclic ion blaster.


Anyway, the league starts off at 1500 points, and eventually finishes at 2000, rising by something in the area of 75-100 points per week. So, let's start from the beginning!