The Last Stand of the Tau

Howdy everyone!  Severus here, and today I am going to tell you what happened on my end of the table in our special scenario, Nowhere to Run.  The description of the scenario, army lists, and deployment can be found here.  Lets get down to it!

Tau deployed first, and chose to go first.  Then the nids seized the initiative!  That put me on my back foot very quickly.  The nids pretty much ran as fast as the could straight at me.  The Hierodule killed a few drones with it’s giant hellstorm attack.  The hive crone burned up a bunch of fire warriors on my right flank as well.  Then the flying hive tyrant unload on the squad of fire warriors on the right that held my ethereal, killing him and a few fire warriors.  The exocrine picked off a few missile drones.  It was a big blow, but now it was time for the tau to fight back.

I sent the vespid and the tetra’s forward to try to screen some of my lines.  The right flank retreated.  The center also retreated.  The stealth suits, which infiltrated into the enemy deployment zone, moved up my left flank to harass the genestealers.  My goal this turn was to bring down the Hierodule and the flying hive tyrant.  I got the nova reactors off on the riptide and r’varna.  The r’varna opted for volley fire, and the riptide got the nova profile on it’s burst cannon.  I unloaded just about everything I had into those two targets.  I put three wounds on each, leaving the tyrant with one wound left and the hierodule with 3.  The tyrant passed his grounding check and lived.  I also picked off some of the genestealers on both flanks with the vespid, stealth suits, and hammerhead.

The R'varna tried to hold the right flank after the fire warriors take heavy loses

The R’varna tried to hold the right flank after the fire warriors take heavy loses

My center retreats in the face of the big bug threats

My center retreats in the face of the big bug threats

Finally, in a bold move, I charged the vespid in to tie up the genestealers on my left flank.  I swear, the logic was sound.  It is better to charge than be charged.  I would be going at initiative 6 along with the genestealers and I would have more attacks this way.  What I forgot was that vespid don’t have assault grenades.  I crossed some rubble in the charge and was reduced to initiative 1.  The vespid were cut down to three men.  Despite the heavy losses, they rolled insane heroism and held!  Take that ya stupid bugs!

The vespid sell there lives to slow the tyranid advance

The vespid sell there lives to slow the tyranid advance

Turn 2 saw the nids strike back. The flying hive tyrant got behind the hammerhead.  The crone came to the middle to shoot at…something.  To be honest, a lot was happening, and he was not a priority, so I forgot what he did.  The big bugs kept up the pressure on the right flank, with the hierodule lining up a charge on the R’varna.  The ravengers in the center moved in to take out the screening wall of tetras.  Shooting saw the hellstorm template kill more firewarriros on the right, the hammerhead dying to the tyrant, and the exocrine taking out a broadside.

In combat, the genestealers on the left finished off the brave vespid.  The hierodule, looking to crush the right flank, tried to charge the R’varna.  It failed, rolling only a 4 inch charge.  The right flank had a chance yet.  The ravengers charged the tetras, only killing two.

In my turn 2, I retreated along the center and right flank.  On the right, I placed the remaining fire warriors as a screen to low down the big bugs.  The riptide moved to try to get a second shot at the Flying Hive Tyrant.  The stealth suits moved up to shoot the now unengaged genestealers.  Finally, the Y’varha arrived.  I tried to deepstrike him near the genestealers on the left flank.  He scattered a full 11 inches and landed right behind the exorcine, doing a wound with his flechette attack.  I turned on the Riptides and R’varnas nova reactors (getting the nova profile for the heavy burst cannon and extra run move for the r’varna since it could not fire this turn).  The Y’varha failed and wounded itself.

Shooting wise, the Y’varha targeted the venomthrope with it’s flamer and killed him and a near by hive guard.  The Riptide was out of range of the Hive Tyrant, so it sets it’s sights on the crone, taking him down to one wound.  The fire warriors in the center focused on the ravengers, doing a few wounds.  The remaining firepower went after the Hierodule, doing another wound (leaving him with 2).

The riptide sets it's sights on a new target

The riptide sets it’s sights on a new target

The R'varna retreats as the fire warriros try to buy the army some more time

The R’varna retreats as the fire warriros try to buy the army some more time

Turn 3 sees the nids continue there push into the right flank with the big bugs and genestealers.  Both the flying hive tyrant and crone fly off the table.  The ravengers push up the center with the swarmlord.  The genestealers on the left try to keep moving forward but are slowed by terrain.

Shooting sees the hellstorm template kill one squad of fire warriors down to a man.   The exorcine turns around to shoot the Y’varha, doing a wound.  Otherwise the rest of the nid shooting is off the table, and thus they launch into assault.

The ravengers charge the tetras (again, but this time the tetras had some decent supporting fire), but they didn’t manage to kill one.  The hierodule charges the lone firewarrior left in front of him.  The Dimachaeron and the genestealers charge the other firewarrior squad.  In the end, both fire warrior squads on the right flank are destroyed.

The tau respond with a continued retreat.  Now that the right flank and center are out of room, they start retreating to the left flank.  The Y’varha advances towards the exocine.  The Stealth suits continue to take sight on the left flank genestealers.  The fire warriors in the center reposition themselves to screen the broadsides and crisis suits.  Nova reactors were activated on the r’varna (volley fire) and riptide (ripple fire) but failed again on the Y’varha.

Shooting sees the Y’varha kill the exocrine.  The stealth suits kill all the genestealers except the brood lord on the left flank.  The R’varna volley fired again at the Hierodule and genestealers on the right flank.  It killed all the genestealers except one and the brood lord and took another wound off the hierodule.  The riptide and the firewarriors took aim at the ravengers, whittling them down a bit more. The rest of my army focused fire on the hierodule, trying to take it’s last wound, but failed.

The lone firewarrior tries to delay the hierodules inevitable charge

The lone firewarrior tries to delay the hierodules inevitable charge

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The tau lines shift to the left to avoid the rampaging Hierodule and Dimachaeron

The riptide, out of flyers to target, unloads on the ravengers

The riptide, out of flyers to target, unloads on the ravengers

The R'varna stares down the hierodule after another round of shooting fails to kill the monster

The R’varna stares down the hierodule after another round of shooting fails to kill the monster

Turn 4 sees the nids get ready to deliver a killing blow.  The bigs bugs start to push towards the center, setting there sights on the R’varna.  Swarmlord turns around to focus on the Y’varha (who is down to one wound) that just killed the exocrine.  The brood lord on the left turns around to take down the stealth suits that have killed his entire brood.  The flyers come back on the board, but appear to be out of position to support the final assault.

Shooting was largely uneventful due to clever placement of 2+ armor save models to lessen the blow of the hellstorm template.  The flying hive tyrant tried to gun down the Y’varha but failed.  And thus the nids moved onto the assualts.

The hierodule and the Dimachaeron charged the R’varna.  The R’varna was dispatched in short order.  The swarmlord charged the Y’varha and was able to put the final wound on him.  The ravengers charged the riptide on the left flank.  Overwatch did some damage, and the riptide finished off the unit in combat.  Finally, the broodlord on the left flank charged and killed all 5 stealth suits that had been harassing him the entire game.

The tau retaliated in turn 4.  With two big bugs encroaching on the main force, decisions had to be made.  The forces moved to bring maximum weight of fire on to the hierodule.  The Riptide moved up to take a shot at the flying hive tyrant.  That was it, the tau were pretty light on models at this point.

Shooting saw the riptide kill the flying hive tyrant.  All other guns targeted the hierodule.  In a finally blaze of glory, the big bug was slain.  Unfortunately, the Dimachaeron was still there and completely unharmed.

Combined fire power saw the death of the hierodule, but the Dimachaeron remains on the loose

Combined fire power saw the death of the hierodule, but the Dimachaeron remains on the loose

On to turn 5.  The swarmlord turned around and started heading back towards the tau lines.  The crone also moved up a bit, but was still not in range this turn.  The Dimachaeron swept around the right flank towards the tau gun lines.  The little lone brood lord on the right also followed.  The left flank brood lord shuffled forward, out of the fight for now.

There wasn’t any shooting to speak of, so on to assaults.  The Dimachaeron charged the broadside, quickly slaughtering it and the drones.  The right flank brood lord assault the two tetras, blowing one up.

Turn 5, the Tau threw everything they had at the Dimachaeron.  They were able to finally bring the beast down, but the swarmlord remained unharmed along with the one wound hive crone.  We rolled for it, and the game ended.

By our own victory conditions, the monstrous creatures were still alive.  So, the tau could not disengage from the fight in time and missed there evacuation.  They were killed to the man.  Counting up our modified kill points and adding in first blood and line breaker, the nids won 26-21.  So the secondary reflected a close loss for the tau.

Overall a very fun game.  That hierodule was much harder to kill than I had anticipated.  Getting seized on also robbed my army a turn of shooting at range, so I had to begin my retreat sooner than anticipated.  There were some epic rolls, like the vespid holding up the genestealers by rolling insane heroism.  Or the hierodule failing a 5 inch charge on turn 2 against the r’varna.  All in all, a good match!  Until next time, this is Severus saying have a good one and take it easy.

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