Chaos Hindsight

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The above is a battle report posted on this website. It concerns a pretty fierce butt-whooping of Chaos by the Tau. I saw this and was very interested in it because it was so open to question and general "hindsight" nit-picky-ness. First time I read it I wondered what forces EXACTLY the Chaos player was using as the Tau player (who wrote the report) wasn't entirely certain what forces he had faced. The second thing I wondered was that the list for Chaos seemed a bit small. Now, I read through the rather thorough stomping of Chaos and wondered, what would I have fielded against the Tau in a 1500 point battle? Then, to truly LEARN from the experience of this other player and not simply criticize, what would I have fielded if I was to use the same basic list he did and was my original hunch correct? That is to say, was the list set down by the admittedly uncertain Tau player undervalued?
So with these items in mind, the purpose of this thread is to see where the Chaos player went wrong in the build of his army as this is the seed that determined a significant part of the battle.
Let's start with the original list as this is the starting point of our redesigned army:So we MUST include the above troop types in those specific configurations and the Predator must have Mutated Hull.
I sketched out the following army inside of 25-30 minutes knowing that it would be facing Tau, but taking no specific matters of the field of battle into consideration. Again, to be fair to the original Chaos player I did not take into account the setup of the field nor the armies nor who won first turn.
I did take into consideration the army to be faced, namely Tau. Assuming the Tau player is using at least a mixed force I could assume to be facing some Fire Warriors, Drones, Stealth Suits, Crisis Suits and Skimmers; possibly allies as well in the form of Kroot or maybe Vespids. I don't know much about Tau tactics and have only skimmed their codex but these seem to be reasonable assumptions without getting too fanciful and paranoid. I have no idea what Railheads and Ionheads are, I'll assume vehicles of some sort, but the basic premise of my army-redesign isn't based on countering this specific army, just Tau in general.
To that effect, here is the sketch-up I created in the time previously specified.

Alpha Legion

Chaos Lord: Total 147pts
  • Demonic Strength
  • Demonic Speed
  • Demonic Mutation
  • Dark Blade
  • Mark Chaos Undivided (**remember the original army was marked this way.**)
  • Spiky Bits
  • Bolt Pistol
  • Frags
  • Infiltrate
CSM ( Cool: Total 153
  • Asp. Champion
  • Flamer x2
  • Frags
  • CCW + Bolt Pistols
  • Infiltrate
  • CSM ( Cool: Total 180
  • Meltas x2
  • Frags
  • Bolters
  • Mark Chaos Undivided
  • Infiltrate
  • Tank Hunters
Havocs (6): Total 194
  • Lascannon x2
  • Frag Missile Launchers x2
Obliterators (3): Total 210
Raptors (6): Total 221
  • Asp. Champion w/PW
  • Flamers x3
  • Infiltrate
Predator: Total 160
  • Twin-Linked Lascannon
  • Heavy Bolter Sponsoons
  • Mutated Hull
Here, I should say... is where we parted paths, this Chaos player and I as I found myself with an enormous number of leftover points which I subsequently put to use in extra Bikers for the next squad. By doubling their numbers I felt they would have a better chance of a. getting to combat and b. killing more Tau once they got there!
Chaos Bikers (6): Total 233
  • Asp. Champion w/PW
  • Frags
The grand total comes to 1498 points! This with 3 extra bikers! Now, given that I didn't include Marks on every troop, the resulting army would have been much better suited to both troop and vehicle crunching. These were my specific thoughts as I was sketching out the army build:
Tau are often highly mobile and can still put lots of feet on the ground. Their troops are weak but they have lots of vehicles and walker-type things with their suits. Additionally, Stealth Suits can wreak havoc from range.
Thus:
1. I wanted lots of Flamer templates hitting the Tau as often as possible. Raptors are a great delivery system for this and an Infiltrated force can surprise them and either force them to reposition or get into CC quickly.
2. I needed several ways to counter Suits and Skimmers. The Tau couldn't be allowed to mass their fire-power in one area to take out the long-ranged anti-tank weapons. Oblits are nice heavy biatches that can deliver the fire power; a backing of Havocs with Lascannons for the vehicles and Missile Launchers for troops worked because the range for both weapons was the same; and then surprise the Tau with an Infiltrated force armed with Meltas just to throw 'em off balance.
3. The Pred could serve whatever duty was needed at the time. In the beginning it could draw fire as it blasted away at the heavier Tau forces while, if it survived, serving mop-up duty later on.
4. The CL had Infiltrate just to be certain he was placed well and given the standard accoutrement's to whoop-butt in CC.
5. The Bikers originally had Flamers as well but they got dropped in favor of the Infiltrating/Tank Hunting CSM,Definition: Chaos Space Marines so they'd work as support and used to entangle the enemy and reduce their mobility.
All in all I learned quite a bit from the report itself and the follow-up. The best part was the vague Chaos list provided at the start as it gave an inexperienced player like myself a solid grounding for the start of the redesign while leaving everything vague enough to really put my own force up to be scrutinized.
So, in the interests of furthering the tactical discussion and teaching us newbs, what army would you have made and why?




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