Imperial Guard with Witch Hunters Versus Tau

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Last night I went to the local shop's hobby night and got to play against new Tau for the first time. I also broke out my inducted Vostroyans for the first time, which was fun.

My opponent was trying new Tau stuff out, so I don't think he had the most competative list around, but then, WH without sisters isn't exactly the most competitive force either.

My List


Inquisitor Lord Joe w/ Stormbolter

 2 Heavy Bolter Servitors, 1 Plasma Cannon Servitor, 1 Acolyte w/ Stormbolter & Carapace Armour, 2 Sages

Priest, w/ Carapace Armour & Evicerator (Goes with Zealots)


2x Armoured Fist squad w/ Lascannon & plasma gun, Chimera w/ multi-laser, heavy bolter, extra armour

 2x 6 Stormtroopers w/ 2 plasma guns

 1x 6 stormtroopers w/ 2 meltaguns

 1x 20 zealots, w/ 2 fanatics+evicerators


Calidus Assassin

Fast Attack

6 Rough Riders, w/ hunting lances&CCW (war dogs)

Heavy Support

3x Penitent Engine

His List


Shas'O R'Myr (Special Character from forgeworld, w/ assault 2 plasma gun, 4+ inv. save, 3+ in assault, and other weird stuff.)

 2 bodyguards:

 1 forgeworld 2+ save battlesuit w/ twin-linked plasma, shield gen.

 1 suit, iridium armour, plasma gun, Cyclonic Ion Blaster, drone controller w/ 2 shield drones.


3x 12 firewarriors, w/ Shas'ui w/ target lock, bonding, markerlight


3 Suits, (Missile Pod, Plasma, Shield Gen, Shas'Vre w/ multi-tracker)

Fast Attack

5 Piranah Squadron, All with disruption field, Targetting Array, 3 fusion, 2 burst cannons


We played on a heavily-wooded table (and, even knowing this before we made our lists, there were no kroot to be seen), that limited a lot of fire lanes. There were clear shots across the table in three places, an eight-inch wide corridor down the center of the table, and along both table edges. There were some large rocks on either side of the corridor down the middle, with some woods on either side of the rocks, as well as wooded areas in both deployment zones.

Mission & Deployment

We rolled up a straight-forward Seek& Grinestroy mission, at Gamma level (although, as it turns out, neither of us had infiltrators or deep strikers (well, that we chose to use as such))

My opponent deployed his three firewarrior squads across the width of the field, one team on the left (where there was the clean line-of-fire across the field), one to the right (same), and one just left of center, behind a wood. His Suits were all deployed just left-of-center as well, with the Elite suits closer to the left edge. The Piranah squadron sat right-of-center.

I deployed one armoured fist squad to the left flank, in a wood, with both units of plasma stormtroopers backing them up. The inquisitor was slightly offset from this unit (where I estimated he could fire at the firewarriors on the left flank, without worrying about being shot back). The other armoured fist squad was deployed to the right side, though closer to the center, beind the large rocks, with the melta-stormtroopers to back them up. All my assault elements (Rough riders, zealots, penitents) were set to charge up the gap in the middle.

Top Turn 1

My opponent won the first turn. Using the firewarriors on the left flank, he got a markerlight hit on my chimera, and the elite suits exploded it, two members of the armoured-fist squad perishing in the explosion. The same firewarriors killed one more from that squad. Shas'O R'Myr's squad headed towards the center gap. The Piranah squadron leapt forward along the right flank, hoping to hide behind a forest. Assault moves saw the elite suits take refuge out-of-sight again, and R'Myr's squad continue towards the the gap.

Bottom Turn 1

The remaining chimera on the right pulled forward and got shots on the piranah squad. Two glancing hits removed the fusion blasters from two of the piranahs. The assault element pushed forward toward the gap, with the leftmost penitent engine heading off towards the woods, because the firewarriors behind it were closest to it. The inquisitor's squad killed off five firewarriors from the left flank, but they didn't break. Stormtroopers shuffled about to get better positions.

Top Turn 2

The Piranah's abandoned their position, (I think losing two of the fusion guns rattled my opponent a bit, and he pulled them back to avoid the chimera, rather than pushing forward to destroy it.) The firewarriors on the left flank shot one of the flamers off the left-most penitent engine, while Shas'O R'Myr's squad immobilized another in the gap, creating a bit of a bottle-neck. The elite suits got a shot on the third penitent, but failed to harm it. On the right flank, his firewarriors took some shots into the melta-gun stormtroopers, but missed. Assault-moves saw all crisis suits pull back towards his table edge, away from the gap, although the iridum-armoured suit in R'Myr's squad slowed that unit down, and they only got a three-inch move.

Bottom Turn 2

The inquisitor's squad, and the lascannon from the armoured fist squad wiped most of the rest of the left-side firewarriors out, leaving one, who decided to run. With no shots, everyone else simply moved to gain better firing lines. The undamaged penitent engine changed its course, and headed towards the Piranah squadron, as they were now closest. It's flamer failed to damage them, and it misses all it's attacks against the skimmers. The one missing an arm pushed forward into the forest after the firewarriors hiding there, and got an excellent Holy Rage roll. It managed to kill one firewarrior, and they held. The rough riders also got a good fleet roll, and were able to charge R'Myr's bodyguard. Their initial charge took out one bodyguard and both shield drones, emptying their kill zone, so suffering no return hits. R'Myr held, and they piled in.

Top Turn 3

The Piranah squadron exploded the penitent engine that had charged them. The Elite crisis suits had most of their firing lines blocked by R'Myr's combat, but were able to explode the immobilized penitent engine, catching a zealot in the resulting explosion. Without their charge bonus, the roughriders fell, three dying to R'Myr's flechette launcher, and two more to blows from the crisis suit. The lone survivor turned tail and ran, leaving the suits to consolidate. The penitent engine fighting the firewarriors killed two more, and they ran for it, getting cut down. This left the engine free to consolidate towards R'Myr. The firewarriors on the right flank were left without shots.

Bottom Turn 3

The Calidus assassin showed up, and applied her neural shredder to the elite suits. Even with their invulnerable saves, they lost one suit, and the other two turned tail and fell back, off the table. The penitent engine crashed into R'Myr's remaining bodyguard, killing it, and piling into the Tau leader. Zealots shuffled forwards more, finally getting through the gap.

Top Turn 4

The right-side firewarriors got some shots on the zealots who had passed the gap, killing 3. The Piranah squadrion opened up, and killed another 12. The zealots held fast though ("Here comes the pain!"). R'Myr fell to the penitent engine, unable to withstand the single S10 hit that got past his save.

Bottom Turn 4

Chimera fire landed two immobilized (and therefore, destroyed) results on the piranahs. The penitent engine charged and killed another, and the zealots got their 9 evicerator attacks on another, downing it.

End Game

With one weaponless piranah and a firewarrior squad remaining for my opponent, we called the game.

Tau Losses

4 Piranah, 24 firewarriors, 6 suits

Witchhunter Losses

16 zealots, 3 inducted guardsmen, 1 chimera, 2 penitent engines, 6 rough riders

Thoughts & Analysis

My opponent seems to have falled prey to the high-costs found in the new tau codex. With firewarrior squad leaders costing 35 points each, crisis suits running into the 80-100 point range, and a squadron of piranah that cost over 350 points, he was left with only a few units, which hurt him against my army with many cheap units. While getting markerlight support on the piranah squadron would result in a lot of hits, I believe that running three squads of one or two each would be more effective and survivable, able to threaten more of the battlefield at once. Shas'O R'Myr has not impressed me either time I've faced him, as even with a 3+ inv. save, there's a lot of things that can insta-kill him with the one hit that gets through. Without a dependable way for him to get through his opponent's armour, locking him up in assault is clearly the way to handle him.

On my unit's performance, I was as impressed with the rough riders as I'd expected to be. My unit of six not only made their points back in one charge, but got in fast enough to tie up the suits, which then enabled the followup charge by the penitent engine. The armoured fist squads didn't see a lot of action, with a handful of lascannon and plasma shots missing, or failing to penetrate the armour of the piranahs. However, what they did do was influence where the Piranah's were willing to go, eliminating several avenues of attack with the threat of anti-tank weaponry.


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