Region: Perdus Rift.
Death Guard vs Tau Empire.
Mission: Vertical Envelopment.
Pushed back by the superior might of the Tau military, the Death Guard have been forced into a defensive line stretched thin across the fields of D'Then's northern continent. The Tau have taken advantage if this by breaking through the lines at key points and then swinging their grav tanks around behind the chaos lines to flank them. Whittle the defenders piece by piece.
My friend Adam has been contemplating giving up 40K due to a couple reasons. I'm trying to tempt him back especially with 8th edition around the corner, so I bribed him (with a sealed XV-88 battle suit box) to give me another match against his Tau. We picked a Tau mission from Altar of War and went for it.
The mission represents exactly what the fluff blurb says. The Tau are engaging the enemy on one side while dropping or outmanoeuvring their skimmers behind the enemy lines. He deployed 9'' from the centre on his side of the table, spreading out across the board edge. Taking advice from a couple friends I decided to consolodate everything of mine behind cover in one corner. The idea being that because his skimmers and flyers must come in from my board edge they would have a harder time of it. In the end I felt he skimped out by only taking a Barracuda and no skimmers.
I decided not to steal the initiative because I felt that with night fight in play for the first turn plus everything getting a cover save he would have a wasted a turn. As it turns out his army was geared for night fighting so I lost that benefit and his markerlights removed any cover save. First shot of the game and my Land Raider went boom, forcing my Chaos Lord and his Terminators to foot slog it across the table.
My first turn and the Chaos Knight marched forward. Heavy stubber smoking one Fire Warrior while the thermal cannon took out half a squad sitting in a Tidewall gun platform. Unfortunately we couldn't find the rules in the rule book for the emplacement for a couple turns so we left it alive for a time. It did go boom eventually after we found it but the loss of that might have changed a few things. But it didn't matter as it was just a fun game anyway.
With everything else I was just too cautious. It's a kill point mission but I did not want to run the risk of giving him points by moving forward into the open. I wanted Adam to come to me which isn't going to happen with Tau.
Turn two and his Barracuda came in. Thankfully my Knight's invulnerable save kicked in and protected it from everything he threw at it. That thing was going to be a pain this game. Normally it's not such a problem but Adam had great shooting rolls all game. He then proceeded to have to follow my Knight around the table.
More shooting followed from the Tau and I lost my Predator before it could do much more than knock a wound of his Riptide. My Helbrute dropped easily to a Ghostkeel. It was only once his Crisis Battle Suits came down on my side that things changed. He wrecked by Rhino's and it allowed my Chaos Marines to assault them and lock them in combat for the rest of the game. My Raptors ended up the same way, until at the end I had one left locked in with three battle suits. None of these units were able to hurt one another which was frustrating.
By this time Adam was soaring ahead in victory points. That was about to change. He had slowly been knocking hull points of my Chaos Knight. After it had slain his Riptide with a mighty D hit from it's chainsword, it turned it's attention to the Pathfinders on a ruin. The massive overwatch fire took the last hull point and we were treated to an apocalyptic explosion. Adam had never seen this before. The blast destroyed three units plus his war lord and the Tidewall. Talk about boom!
At that point the game ended turn 5, just in time as the venue was getting ready to close for the night. Adam was well ahead on 10 victory points but that massive explosion launched me from 1 to 7 in a single roll. Well done to Adam.
Hopefully Adam will continue to play 40K after this. We also discussed replaying this mission under 8th with the same units (new points allowing) to see how it will play out now that vehicles will have toughness and wound scores.